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Belgium confirms 8 May reopening of cafe terraces, outdoor events allowed up to 50 people

18:28 23/04/2021

Cafes, pubs and restaurants in Belgium will be able to serve customers outdoors "safely and responsibly" from 8 May - with a 22.00 closing time and a maximum four people per table.

"If the situation continues to move in the right direction - and we are confident it will - then 8 May for the opening of terraces can be maintained," said prime minister Alexander De Croo.

The four-person limit will not apply to large families, where more than four people live under the same roof. While they must eat or drink outdoors, customers can use indoor toilets. 

The other rules surrounding cafes and restaurants are similar to those introduced last summer after the first coronavirus wave. Staff will be required to wear a mask at all times - and customers must wear one when not seated. Bar service is not allowed and tables must be 1.5 metres apart.

8 May will also see the gradual reopening of the culture/events sector. From this date, outdoor events will be possible with a maximum audience of 50.

It is hoped that the limit can be upped to 200 from June - indoors and outdoors - provided intensive care occupancy has fallen below the 500 mark and the vaccination campaign continues as planned. In the meantime, some indoor test events will be organised to ensure safe conditions can be guaranteed.

Outdoor sports with up to 25 people will also be allowed again from 8 May. The consultative committee did not make a decision about summer cultural events - in July and August. It will meet again on 12 May.

Written by The Bulletin