PM Wilmès held a brief press conference.
Alexis Haulot

Mouth mask not mandatory in shops; bigger contact bubbles and swimming pools to reopen 

PM Sophie Wilmès has announced a further relaxation of corona restrictions after a meeting of the National Security Council. Wearing a mouth mask in shops will not become compulsory, though this may change if the virus would regain strength. Swimming pools and cinemas (among others) can reopen next week on Wednesday. 

Here's a list with the main changes for phase 4, which implies further relaxations as from 1 July:

  • our personal contacts outside our home should no longer be limited to 10 people: the so-called contact bubble is being extended to 15. This means you can invite up to 15 people at your home for a party or a barbecue, for example.
  • swimming pools, cinemas, saunas, casinos, welness centres and fun parks can reopen on 1 July, if the basic safety measures are being respected.
  • events can welcome up to 200 people (indoor) or 400 people (outdoor) from 1 July. On 1 August, this could be extended to 400 and 800 respectively if all goes well. Exceptions may apply to locations where people can be seated. 
  • organisers of cultural or other events will use a so-called matrix to calculate how many people can be received. They will have to fill in the specific conditions applying to their venue, to see whether they receive the green, orange or red light. Orange means that their event can still go ahead, provided that they make adaptations. 
  • face masks will not be mandatory inside shops, but policy makers sent a warning: if the figures would worsen, this could become the case. Some virologists had called for an obligation, like in public transport, but their suggestion did not make it - today politicians claim the virologists have changed their minds. However, wearing a mouth mask remains strongly advised. Also about shopping: you can take someone with you now, and the time limit of half an hour inside, will be scrapped.
  • night clubs and other (bigger) mass events have not received the go-ahead yet.
  • it has been confirmed that summer camps for youngsters can go ahead this summer, provided they take place with a maximum of 50 people.
  • private catering events e.g. for weddings can take place for a maximum of 50 people.
  • the limit of 50 stalls at markets will be lifted. It will also be possible to eat something there. 

Top stories