Sunday

25th Jul 2021

Belgium to reopen borders, terraces and hairdressers

  • From 19 April, travel to and from Belgium will be possible again for non-essential trips (Photo: Valentina Pop)

Belgium has decided to ease its coronavirus measures in the weeks to come, notably the reopening of the country's borders and cafe and restaurant terraces.

"We have chosen for a prudent but realistic opening", Belgian prime minister Alexander De Croo said in a press conference on Wednesday (14 April) on the advice of the Belgian Consultative Committee, adding "we haven't received much good news from the hospitals, where more young people are in intensive care."

Read and decide

Join EUobserver today

Become an expert on Europe

Get instant access to all articles — and 20 years of archives. 14-day free trial.

... or subscribe as a group

  • 'We have chosen for a prudent but realistic opening', Belgian prime minister Alexander De Croo said in a press conference (Photo: premier.fed.be)

De Croo also warned that the country is not fighting the same virus as during the first and second wave anymore, but one that is much more aggressive and contagious.

However, the so-called reproduction number has gone below one, which means that one infected person on average infects one person or less - a signal that the third wave is over.

On Monday (19 April) the schools will reopen for children up to 14-years old. For youngsters between 14 and 18, part-time education will be possible at the schools, the other half at home.

Non-essential travel will be possible again, with the borders reopening from 19 April. However, the police will keep checking travellers have completed the mandatory passenger location form.

Also, the travel to red zones remain prohibited, and those returning from such a zone will need to go into quarantine, whether vaccinated or not.

On 26 April the shops will reopen, without the current necessary appointment, and non-medical 'contact' professions like hairdressers will reopen their doors. It will also be possible to meet with 10 people outside instead of the current four.

"The other phases will depend on vaccination and responsibility of the citizens," De Croo said, adding that "if the numbers in the hospitals keep on going into the right direction, and seven-out-of-ten people older than 65 are vaccinated, the following measures are on the agenda too."

On 8 May bars and restaurants can reopen their terraces. The curfew will largely disappear, but it will still be prohibited to gather outside with more than three people from midnight until 5 AM.

It will be possible to invite two people from the same family at home. Also cultural and religious activities will be allowed outside, with a maximum of 50 attendees.

Pilot projects will be started on inside cultural activities.

If all people over 65 have been vaccinated, and the numbers of hospitalised people dropped significantly, in June it will be possible to have indoor cultural activities, indoor sport and fitness.

There is also the hope that in June indoor seating in bars and restaurants will be allowed too.

Belgium goes into four-week Easter lockdown

Belgium's prime minister Alexander De Croo announced on Wednesday that the country will go into four weeks of Easter lockdown, starting from Saturday (27 March).

Belgium re-opens, with restrictions, on 8 June

From 8 June Belgium reopens bars, restaurants, fitness clubs and other activities, as long as people keep 1.5 meter of social distancing. Traveling will also be possible to other European countries if these agree.

Belgium outlines summer Covid relaxation plans

Belgian prime minister Alexander De Croo announced that from 9 June restaurants, cinemas, theatres and fitness centres will be able to open their doors again. Indoor and outdoor events will steadily be able to host more people.

Delta variant poses 'mandatory' vaccination dilemma for EU

The spread of the more contagious Delta variant has prompted authorities in member states to accelerate inoculation campaigns, and even make vaccination mandatory - in a bid to halt the new surge of cases and avoid lockdowns in the autumn.

News in Brief

  1. Macron changes phone after Pegasus spyware revelations
  2. Italy to impose 'vaccinated-only' entry on indoor entertainment
  3. EU 'will not renegotiate' Irish protocol
  4. Brussels migrants end hunger strike
  5. Elderly EU nationals in UK-status limbo after missed deadline
  6. WHO: 11bn doses needed to reach global vaccination target
  7. EU to share 200m Covid vaccine doses by end of 2021
  8. Spain ends outdoor mask-wearing despite surge

Europol: Extremists exploited pandemic to spread radicalism

A new report reveals how extremists attempted to exploit the Covid-19 pandemic to spread their radical messages and propaganda across the EU. In 2020, a total of 57 completed, failed or foiled terrorist attacks took place in the EU.

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. Nordic Council of MinistersNineteen demands by Nordic young people to save biodiversity
  2. Nordic Council of MinistersSustainable public procurement is an effective way to achieve global goals
  3. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic Council enters into formal relations with European Parliament
  4. Nordic Council of MinistersWomen more active in violent extremist circles than first assumed
  5. Nordic Council of MinistersDigitalisation can help us pick up the green pace
  6. Nordic Council of MinistersCOVID19 is a wake-up call in the fight against antibiotic resistance

Latest News

  1. Far left and right MEPs less critical of China and Russia
  2. Why is offshore wind the 'Cinderella' of EU climate policy?
  3. Open letter from 30 embassies ahead of Budapest Pride
  4. Orbán counters EU by calling referendum on anti-LGBTI law
  5. Why aren't EU's CSDP missions working?
  6. Romania most keen to join eurozone
  7. Slovenia risks court over EU anti-graft office
  8. Sweden's gang and gun violence sets politicians bickering

Join EUobserver

Support quality EU news

Join us