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Corona Update: Tightening Measures

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The bubbles are back

Although they were abolished only two weeks ago, they have chosen to work with "social bubbles" again. Each person may now only keep close contact with 3 other people, not counting their own family members. The intention is that this rule of 4 will be extended to the rest of social life everywhere.


Private meetings limited to 4 people unless catered for by a professional caterer

For the time being, it seems that all private meetings will be limited to 4 people. The notion of 'private meeting' can be interpreted very broadly: outdoor walks, playing sports together, etc. are also considered to be private meetings (insofar as this takes place in a non-organized context).

However, this limitation does not apply to private parties organized by a professional caterer: in that case, no maximum number of people applies for the time being. The necessary distance rules must of course be respected, as well as a maximum of 10 people per table. Also for other professionally organized events and gatherings the rule of 4 persons maximum would not apply.


Far-reaching restrictions on pubs and other drinking establishments

Pubs and other drinking establishments must close their doors at 11pm. Outside as well as inside, only 4 people may sit together at one table. However, families of 5 or more may still sit together at one table.

As of today, there is no prospect of additional financial support for the affected companies.


And the restaurants?

For the restaurants, at first glance, nothing seems to change. They don't have to close their doors until 1 a.m., and 10 people are still allowed to sit at the table.

How that relates to the bubble of 4 is not yet entirely clear, but media reports have already indicated that the bubble rule would not apply at restaurant. It would therefore remain possible to go out to dinner with 10 people, as long as one tries to still keep some physical distance at the table.


What about Brussels?

For certain regions, stricter measures are currently in place or will soon be announced. The federal government has authorized the provincial governors to take more stringent measures where necessary. For Brussels, the above measures were tightened this morning.

As of 08/10 in Brussels, all cafes, other drinking establishments and party halls must close their doors for at least a month. Restaurants may remain open.