Long queues as shops selling non-essential goods reopen after almost 8 weeks

Shops selling non-essential goods re-opened on Monday morning for the first time since Wednesday 18 March. Then all shops with the exception of pharmacies, newsagents and shops selling food and/or animal feed were forced to close as part of the measures to curb the spread of the novel coronavirus. In the meantime, the rules were relaxed slightly to allow shops selling telephones and later D.I.Y. stores to reopen. 

Now it is the turn of shops selling other goods to open their doors again for the first time in almost 8 weeks.  

The re-opening has led to long queues outside shops, all of which must follow strict rules on hygiene and social distancing. One customer per 10m² is the rule. Other customers have to wait outside, while maintaining social distancing of 1.5m until there is enough space in the shop for them to be allowed inside. Mouth masks are recommended, but not mandatory.

There were long queue ahead of opening time at the branch of the discount retailer Action, near to the VRT’s Broadcasting Centre in the Brussels municipality of Schaarbeek.

Our reporter at the scene told VRT News that "Hundreds of people are queuing here it its one endless queue. The customers that come out of the store have full trollies. This sometimes causes friction with other customers. For example someone had bought ten boxes of disposable gloves here. 

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