Summer of 2021: relaxations start

Today is the first day of Phase One of Belgium’s Summer Plan.  The plan envisages a train a relaxations over the coming months if conditions permit.  What changes today?

Indoor hospitality reopens.  Indoor rules mirror those on the terrace: 4 punters at one table unless there are more people in your household.  Parties must stay 1.5m apart.  Stand up and you need to mask.  Hospitality may open from 5AM to 11:30PM.

At home you can host 4 guests indoors, all at the same time and children are not counted.  At each hosting you can invite different guests. Outdoors, e.g. in your garden, you can gather in a group of 50 people (children are counted).

Homeworking remains mandatory, but homeworkers may return to their place of work for up to a day a week. In bigger firms no more than 20% of workers may be present.  In SMEs worker numbers are limited to 5.

Some restrictions on shopping disappear, but only two people from different households can still shop together (children not counted), but you can stay in the shop as long as you want.

Fitness centres may reopen. Up to 50 people can take part in amateur sports events indoors.  Outdoors the figure is 100. Cinemas, bowling alleys, saunas, soft play areas, tropical swimming pools, casinos, betting shops and gambling halls may all reopen.

Sex workers too may resume their trade.

International travel continues according to existing rules. Host countries set the rules, so it’s best to check these before you set off.

Testing and quarantine aren’t obligatory on return from green or amber countries.  Come home from a red country and a test isn’t required if you have been fully vaccinated for at least two weeks. Testing and quarantine until a negative result are required for people who are not fully vaccinated.

Events like concerts, theatres and sports evets may welcome 200 people indoors or 75% of hall capacity.  Outdoors the limit is 400.  Everybody is masked and there is physical distancing between households. 50 people can also take part in youth events, but there are no overnight stays.

200 people can participate in mobile demos, 400 in static events. Physical distancing is required.

Fairs, car boot and jumble sales and neighbourhood sales days may resume.  Up to 50 people may attend indoor receptions.  A hundred people can be present at religious ceremonies, funerals and weddings indoors. Outdoors the limit is 200.

Night shops can stay open to 11:30PM and ambulant sales are once again permitted.

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