Different Belgian and Dutch rules led to confusion in Belgian enclave

In these times of corona spare a thought for the good people of Baarle-Hertog, a Belgian municipality that forms an enclave in the Netherlands.  The two countries have adopted a different approach to the corona outbreak with the fear here that the Dutch are being more laid back about the crisis than the Belgian authorities. Rules in the Netherlands are less strict and stores selling non-essentials remain open.

To make sure that all the Belgians in Baarle-Hertog are aware what they can and can’t do local police have drawn up some guidelines.

Don’t forget that the situation in Baarle-Hertog (Belgian) and Baarle-Nassau (Netherlands) is more complicated than you might think because parts of the Dutch municipality are enclaves within the Belgian enclave!

Residents of Dutch Baarle-Nassau can still fill up their cars at Belgian petrol stations in Baarle-Hertog.  The same goes for Belgians from Baarle-Hertog in Baarle-Nassau, but Dutch nationals from outside Baarle-Nassau are no longer welcome in Belgian Baarle-Hertog.

People from Baarle-Hertog can still shop in the Baarle-Nassau supermarket, visit a bank, the post office and the news agent’s.  Shopping in other stores isn’t allowed!

In the Netherlands stores for non-essentials like clothes (!) are still open. In Belgium they are not.  We are making do.  All Belgians are currently banned from crossing the Dutch border to go and shop for non-essentials.

People from Baarle-Hertog (Belgian!) can still cross the border to seek medical care or look after somebody.  People in key jobs like teachers and health care workers may cross the border too but need a special disk supplied by the Belgian authorities.  Non-key workers require a letter from their employer.

Residents of Baarle-Hertog living on the border may also take the air in Baarle-Nassau if they so wish.

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