Market traders take legal action against the rule that limits markets to a maximum of 50 stalls

A group of more than 50 market traders is taking legal action to try and get the rule that limits the number of stalls at open air markets to a maximum of 50 scrapped. Last month markets were allowed to reopen again after having been closed for around two months as part of the measures to curb the spread of the novel coronavirus. However, under the rules that allowed them to reopen markets were limited to a maximum of 50 stalls. Market traders believe that they are being unfairly treated compared to shops. 


The solicitor that is representing the market traders Stijn Verbist told VRT News that “Regardless of the surface area available you are only allowed to organise a market with just 50 stalls. Where does this figure come from? It is not based on anything”.

Mr Verbist already represented a group of people that had been unable to visit their second homes due to the lockdown measures and has also previously represented another group of market traders. However, the court has yet to rule in their case.

Mr Verbist added that the one-way rule that is in force at markets serves to make them “especially unattractive” to shoppers.

“The market traders have seen their customers run away in search of alternatives. There are not only losing income today, but potential income in the future”.

Traders are also asking that people be allowed to eat and drink at markets again.

The case was heard at a court in Brussels on Monday and a verdict is expected before 1 July. Proceedings will start in Antwerp today. A case in which the traders demand compensation will start in Brussels next week. On Wednesday the National Security Council meets and it could decide to relax the rules.


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