Belgian residents 'not welcome' when Dutch terraces open next week

Belgian residents 'not welcome' when Dutch terraces open next week
Credit: RIVM

The terraces in the Netherlands will reopen on Wednesday 28 April, but people living in Belgium are not allowed to quickly cross the border to grab a drink yet, according to the Dutch authorities.

From next week, the Dutch terraces will be open again, between noon and 6:00 PM, for a maximum of two people per table (unless it concerns a bubble), and up to 50 people per establishment, the government announced earlier this week.

Additionally, everyone who wants to sit on such a terrace will have to register and reserve a table, but the cabinet of Dutch Health Minister Hugo de Jonge confirmed to Het Nieuwsblad that "Belgian residents are not welcome yet."

According to people living on the border with the Netherlands, the Dutch coronavirus information line indicated that border residents who are allowed to cross the border for essential shopping, could also cross the border for a terrace.

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However, this information is not correct, according to Axel Dees, the spokesperson for De Jonge. "Even if it is just for half an hour or to have one drink: as a Belgian resident, you have to go into quarantine on arrival."

He stressed that only border workers, people who study across the border or who go on family visits do not have to go into quarantine.

"It concerns essential reasons," Dees said. "For all the other things, you have to go into quarantine. Whether you enter the country by bicycle, car or any other means of transport."

This quarantine normally lasts for ten days, but can be shortened to five days after a negative Covid-19 on day 5. "So, going across the border just to have a beer on a terrace is not possible," he said.

Maïthé Chini

The Brussels Times

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