Are Belgians really "party poopers"?

Belgium’s corona measures came under satirical scrutiny on the American TV show ‘The Daily Show’ this week.  Americans found entertainment in Belgians’ lonely Christmas and the gay orgy in Brussels involving a Hungarian Euro MP famous for his family values also got a look in.

Trevor Noah told his audience Belgians were only allowed to meet up in fours during the festive season and that had to happen in the garden.  Poking fun with us Americans leaned that only one person could use the loo by government order and the rest had to head home if they were caught short.

This was satire.  The real rules are as follows: In addition to the members of your own household, you are allowed to invite one ‘knuffelcontact’ or ‘hug buddy’ into your home.  A ‘knuffelcontact’ is an individual right of every adult Belgian citizen, but you can only have one designated ‘hug buddy’ per person. Moreover, households can only invite one ‘knuffelcontact’ or ‘hug buddy’ in at a time.  Social distancing does not need to be observed with the ‘cuddle buddy’.

On Christmas Eve and Christmas Day only, people living alone may invite their ‘hug buddy’ plus a second guest, with whom social distancing must be observed.

Outside you can meet up with three others from outside your household with social distancing of 1.5m being observed.  This you can do in your garden but only if there is direct access and people don’t need to traipse through your home first! Only the cuddle contact is allowed into the home, e.g. to use the loo.

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