Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved

Shopping in pairs, more spectators at events and international lovers to be reunited

The National Security Council, the body that is made up of the Heads of Belgium’s federal, regional and language community governments and that decides on the measures to curb the spread of the novel coronavirus met on Thursday morning. Shortly after 1pm the federal Prime Minister Sophie Wilmès (Francophone liberal) held a press conference to announce what decisions had been taken during Thursday morning’s meeting. 

The National Security Council has decided that the maximum number of people a household may have in its so-called “social bubble” will remain at 5.

The social bubble is a fixed group of 5 people over the age of 12 from outside your household with whom you may have social contract without respecting the rules on for example social distances. In short 5 friends/family members with whom you may interact as you do with the members of you own household. The bubble is mutually exclusive and remains the same for as long as the restrictions are in force.  

In addition to this we are allowed to see family and friends from outside our social bubble providing that the group does not exceed 10 and social distancing of 1.5 metres is upheld.

Shopping in pairs

From next Monday we will be allowed to go shopping with one other person. Furthermore, the time limit of spending no longer than half an hour in any one shop will be scrapped from 24 August. 

Ms Wimès told the press conference that “We are counting on everyone exercising a sense of responsibility to avoid queues forming in the shops”. Shops will be able to decide for themselves whether or not they allow people to shop in pairs. 

Events and funeral wakes

The maximum number of people that will be allowed to attend cultural and sporting events is being increased to 200 for indoor events and 400 for outdoor events.

Face masks will remain mandatory for spectators at all sporting and cultural events. From 1 September the organisers of events in what was described as “permanent infrastructure” (theatres, halls, stadiums...) will be able to request an exemption from the rule so as to allow them to welcome more spectators. In the first instance it will be up to the local Mayor to examine the request. 

The number of people that are allowed to attend funeral wakes has also been increased to 50. The standard rules on social distancing apply. 

Cross-border love

There is also good news for people that have a relationship with someone that lives in another country.

The coronavirus pandemic and the travel restrictions that have come about as a result of it means that some couples that have a relationship but are not married or in a civil partnership haven’t been able to see each other for almost 6 months.

From 1 September anyone that can prove that they have a long-term relationship with a partner that lives in a country to which travel restrictions are in place will be able to visit their partner. 

Top stories