Fresh easing of corona restrictions from Wednesday

Life is set to become far more exciting as a whole range of new opportunities open up in these corona times.  Belgium is relaxing a raft of measures taken earlier to stem the spread of coronavirus now that the pandemic is easing here.

Swimming pools are reopening as are amusement parks, theatres and movie theatres. Wellness centres, amusement arcades and casinos too will open their doors. The relaxation is timely as, for many, today is also the start of the summer holidays!

Importantly each individual will now also be able to meet up with fourteen other people instead of only nine! Fifteen is the total number of people allowed in your personal social bubble (yourself included). The figure applies for each calendar week and the following week you can meet up with a whole set of different people! Social gatherings may never exceed fifteen people. If you wish to see more people immediately, you can always book a hall with a professional caterer.  Here up to 50 people may be admitted.

You see, we’re still not back to pre-corona times just yet.  Extra restrictions will apply.  You will need to pre-book visits to amusement parks and indoor play areas.  Only a limited number of visitors will be allowed for each time slot.  Face coverings are mandatory on some attractions for the over 11s. Usually you can book online.  Booking also applies to people with a season ticket.

You may need to book to visit a swimming pool too, so best to check beforehand.  Coronavirus cannot spread via chlorinated water, but showers and changing rooms need to be sanitised regularly.

Restrictions also apply in wellness centres and saunas; face coverings are mandatory during a massage for both parties. Turkish baths, Jacuzzis and steam cabins will remain closed.

It’s best to buy a ticket for the theatre or cinema beforehand too! Up to 200 people will be admitted if social distancing can be achieved.  Face coverings are strongly recommended. Orchestras and choirs too can resume rehearsals and performances with similar restrictions.

In casinos and amusement arcades attractions need to be 1.5m apart or Plexiglas screens have to be fitted.  Tokens and coins will be disinfected.  Discotheques and clubs remain closed.

The restriction on the number of stalls at the market disappears too.  Tasters once again become permitted.  Other restrictions remain in place. Shoppers will have to follow a circulation plan. The number of visitors is limited too.  Flea markets and fairs too can restart, but need to observe the same rules as markets. Social distancing applies!

Mass events remain banned but smaller events including conferences are allowed with up to 200 participants indoors and 400 outdoors. Receptions will be seated events.

Parades are still off the menu.  Stand still demonstrations are permitted when social distancing is observed.  Private parties are still limited to 15 individuals.  If you want to invite more, you need to enlist the services of a professional caterer. Banquets and receptions can accommodate 50 people.  Guests don’t need to remain seated but can visit the buffet!

Up to 200 people can attend wedding and funeral ceremonies amid observance of social distancing.  Wedding parties – dancing not permitted! - and wakes and coffee tables are limited to 50 guests. All events must conclude at 1AM.

Solitary shops are a thing of the past too, though you may only go shopping with people from your personal bubble.  You will also be able to stay in one and the same shop for over thirty minutes.  Face coverings are strongly recommended.  Keep others outside your bubble at a safe 1.5m distance.

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