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Brussels awards health safety label to Covid-compliant venues

07:10 17/09/2020

Hotels, restaurants and venues in Brussels that have gone the extra mile to ensure visitors’ safety have been awarded a special label by the Brussels region and tourism agency visit.brussels.

In order to help the tourist sector restart its activities by giving visitors confidence and peace of mind, the health safety label was launched in July in cooperation with the international certification agency Socotec.

Tourist attractions, hotels, restaurants, museums, guided tours, venues, events and fairs are eligible to apply for the label which is free. Since its launch, more than 20 establishments and institutions have qualified including Bozar, Autoworld, and Bruxelles Bavard.

The boutique hotel Made in Louise implemented a number of steps: plexiglass at the welcome desk, disinfection of rooms, an overhaul of the breakfast offer, a QR code to read the menu and in-room instructions, and hydroalcoholic gel. Hotel director Martin Duchateau said: “As an independent hotel it was hard for us to get certified on our own, so the availability of this label is a huge plus for us.”

Restaurant Vincent reduced the number of tables by 50%, made hydroalcoholic gel available, created a one-way traffic flow with indications on the floor and separate entry and exit doors, and individual portions of salt, pepper and other condiments. Its director Ilhame Talbi Paloma said: “Implementing the steps to qualify for the label made us rethink everything and has made our outreach to our Belgian and foreign clients much easier and effective.”

By far the largest recipient of the label is Brussels Expo, which has equipped its 120,000m² with UV-C purifiers which use ultra-violet rays to kill bacteria and viruses. The purifiers will be in operation everywhere. The exhibition halls, the conference rooms, the offices, the corridors, backstage and the toilets will be covered.

The use of gel, masks and a reorganised visitor flow will also be in effect. Chief executive Denis Delforge said: “This is a big step in helping the 80,000 people in Brussels employed in the sector  to get back to work.” 

Any tourist business is eligible and once accepted will be provided with all the materials necessary to communicate their status with the public. The establishments will be subject to random inspections by Socotec to guarantee proper and continual application of the measures.

Written by Richard Harris