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What Belgium’s Consultative Committee is discussing today

Credit: Belga

Belgium’s Consultative Committee will meet again today, not to discuss new restrictions or relaxations, but to work out how its previous decisions will be put into practice.

The Committee will meet in person from 3:00 PM, and a press conference will be held afterwards, the cabinet of Prime Minister Alexander De Croo confirmed to The Brussels Times.

In the Chamber on Thursday, De Croo already warned that people should not expect “new measures or new relaxations to be announced,” but that the meeting would focus on “how to organise the activities outside, which would be planned as of 8 May.”

This afternoon, the Committee will work out the conditions under which the terraces will be allowed to reopen from 8 May, if everything goes according to plan.

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While many are assuming that the obligation to wear a face mask when moving between tables – like last summer – is a given, the discussions will mainly focus on the number of people allowed per table, and the closing time.

In the run-up to the Committee this week, mayors and bar and restaurant owners across the country pleaded for an 11:00 PM closing time, following reports that the authorities were considering closing them at 8:00 PM.

Additionally, the Committee will also look into organising the framework for about 30 test events to gradually restart the culture, events and sports sectors, as Flemish Minister-President Jan Jambon announced last week.

A protocol – proposed by the sectors – stating which measures will have to be respected, how participants will be tested and how the air quality will be guaranteed is on the table, according to reports in Belgian media.

Lastly, the youth sector is also hoping for more clarity about the coming weeks and months from the authorities, especially regarding possible conditions for summer camps, but it is unclear if that will also be discussed today.

Maïthé Chini
The Brussels Times