Where do you need to make an appointment to shop and what are the rules for shoppers that do so?

From today the measures announced on Wednesday regarding shopping in stores selling non-essential goods come into force. Anyone wishing to, for example, buy a new dress, a television or a new sofa must first make an appointment with the store they wish to visit. However, unlike in The Netherlands where stores selling non-essential goods have been trading on an appointment only basis for some time, here in Belgium no minimum amount of time must have elapsed between a customer having made their appointment and them visiting the store. 

Shops selling goods deemed essential are not affected by the measures and can still be visited without making an appointment. These are listed below.

·        Food stores, including night shops

·        Shops selling toiletries and hygiene products

·        Shops specialised in products for babies

·        Shops selling animal feed

·        Petrol stations and fuel merchants

·        Pharmacies

·        Newsagents and bookstores

·        Shops selling telephones with the exception of those that only sell accessories

·        Shops selling medical aid products such as crutches

·        DIY stores

·        Garden centres and nurseries

·        Wholesalers for professionals

·        Stores selling fabric, wool and sewing material such as thread and buttons.

·        Stationary stores


In stores selling non-essential goods you can only shop if you have either ordered your goods online or have made an appointment. The following rules are in force: 

·        The collection of any goods ordered must take place outside the shop.

·        You can only remain in the shop for the period of time that you have reserved. There is no minimum limit on how long in advance you have to reserve.

·        A shopper can take a maximum of 1 person with them to the store. This person must live under the same roof or be the person’s “cuddle contact”.

·        A maximum of 1 customer per 10M² is permitted. In large stores no more than 50 customers can be inside the store at any one time.

·        When queuing outside social distancing of 1.5 metres must be observed. 

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