Strict hospitality rules only ‘highly recommended’ for garden parties in June

Strict hospitality rules only ‘highly recommended’ for garden parties in June
Credit: Pexels/Askar Abayev

From 9 June, garden parties have no obligation to comply with the stricter rules for the hospitality sector, according to the draft Ministerial Decree about the first stage of Belgium’s summer plan.

Garden parties with more than ten guests made headlines last week, as Flemish Minister-President first said that they would only be possible if a professional caterer was hired, and later came back on that statement, but still left some questions open.

The Decree now clears those up, stating that “receptions and banquets may also be organised at home for a maximum of 50 people, on condition that they take place outside and end no later than 11:30 PM.”

When organised in someone’s garden, compliance with the rules set out for the hospitality industry, such as table service and a 1.5 metres distance between tables, is “highly recommended.” If the same parties are organised by a professionally run catering business, however, these strict rules must absolutely be observed.

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In general, the Ministerial Decree does indicate that in the case of authorised gatherings, only groups of maximum four people are allowed, “unless this is impossible due to the nature of the activity.”

Additionally, the general ban on the sale of alcoholic beverages between 10:00 PM and 5:00 AM will also be lifted from 9 June. Takeaway meals and drinks can still be delivered until 11:30 PM, at the latest.

The draft Decree has now been submitted for advice from the Council of State, and will be officially published afterwards, with some possible slight changes.

All measures are currently in force until 30 June 2021, according to the Decree. However, Belgium’s Consultative Committee will evaluate the epidemiological situation again on 4 June, meaning the rules could still change in the meantime.

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