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"If you come to the garden centre this weekend, don't make it a family trip"

Garden centres and do-it-yourself shops will reopen this weekend: where can you go and which rules will apply? Here's a list of basic guidelines you need to know before you leave. 

  • Come by yourself, or take only one other person 
  • The advice is to spend no longer than 30 minutes inside, so make a shopping list beforehand 
  • These two tips together, are summarised by policy makers in one sentence: "Don't make it a day trip with the whole family"
  • Extra checks will be held at the entrance to make sure customers stick to the rules
  • You don't need to come to the garden centre nearest to you home: you have the choice, but don't go to far either: it is forbidden to use it as an excuse to go somewhere far on a day trip. "You shouldn't travel through half of the whole country in your search for a garden centre." 
  • The Brussels public transport company MIVB is asking people not to take the bus or tram to the garden centres, because public transport may become too crowded and social distancing rules can't be followed

Are furniture stores next?

The measure was taken to help the economy, and to allow people to work in their garden in spring time. It's the municipalities that will have to decide which shops exactly meet the label of garden business or do-it-yourself store.

Furniture stores have already asked the government to reopen as well: they say there is enough room inside and don't see a real difference with the garden and do-it-yourself stores. "At times when many people have to work from home, many want to buy some extra things to make this teleworking more comfortable."