Belgian mayors mull to revolt over terrace openings

A man walks by a closed restaurant terrasse ahead of the reopening of restaurants and bars in the country, in downtown Brussels, Belgium. [EPA-EFE/JULIEN WARNAND]

Several Belgian mayors had announced on Thursday they would reopen their terraces before 8 May as they would no longer have the means to prevent hospitality owners from opening their businesses.

Belgium’s Consultation Committee on Wednesday (14 April) decided to ‘cautiously’ loosen certain COVID-19 restrictions, including lifting a travel ban, reopening outdoor terraces for the hospitality sector and extending social bubbles.

Belgium looks towards 'cautious' relaxations, with hospitality sector to open on 8 May

Belgium’s Consultation Committee on Wednesday (14 April) decided to ‘cautiously’ loosen certain COVID-19 restrictions, including lifting a travel ban, reopening outdoor terraces for the hospitality sector and extending social bubbles.

Jean-Marie Dedecker, the mayor of one of Belgium’s coastal towns, amongst others announced he will go with the 1 May opening date for the terraces, despite the Consultative Committee’s decision to wait another week.

“The terraces here can reopen on 1 May. I am tired of walking behind a carrot, like I’m a donkey,” he told VTM News. “The light at the end of the tunnel always turns out to be an approaching train.”

Interior Minister Annelies Verlinden, reacting to the mayor’s threats, has called on all local authorities to respect the Consultative Committee’s decisions.

“We call on everyone with responsibility, including local authorities, to respect the measures,” she tweeted. “This is the only way to limit the spread of the virus.”

 

(Alexandra Brzozowski, EURACTIV.com)

Subscribe to our newsletters

Subscribe