BRUSSELS – A summer by the Belgian sea?

Mayors of Belgium’s coastal municipalities agreed to follow the guidelines of the National Security Council for reopening the beaches, after disagreement over when and how to allow tourists to return to the seaside.

According to the deconfinement plan, coastal tourism will restart in phases whereas first  people with a second-residency might be allowed back. After that, tourists get the chance to stay in a hotel, a B&B, a campsite or holiday apartments. Day trippers are only welcome in a third phase, only from the moment restaurants and cafes reopen.

It is, however, not yet clear when the coastal tourism plan will kick off its first phase.

Bart Tommelein, candidate-chairman of the Open VLD and mayor of Ostend, among others, was against the Security Council’s decision not to open the coast to people with a cottage by the sea.

Several coastal mayors had set 18 May as a date to allow Belgians with a second residence to come to the coast, but under pressure from the governor of West Flanders, the mayors still follow the guidelines of the Security Council.

Coastal municipalities will have to continuously monitor the number of visitors and the traffic situation.

> Read more about the situation in Belgium here.

( Alexandra Brzozowski | EURACTIV.com)

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