Groups of more than four can now head to the bar together.

By Cailey Rizzo
June 03, 2020
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Belgium will enter Phase 3 of its reopening measures next week allowing restaurants and bars to reopen as the country continues steps forward to establish its “new normal.”

Belgium began its four-phase reopening process last month where non-food shops were allowed to reopen and schools, markets, libraries, hairdressers, and museums were permitted to partially reopen. By next week, almost all businesses will have permission to operate, as long as they abide by new health guidelines. Nightclubs remain the only businesses that must stay closed.

“The virus remains with us, it still takes its toll and we must remain vigilant. This is why we must continue to ban certain activities,” Prime Minister Sophie Wilmes told reporters in a press conference, according to Euractiv.

Tourist attractions, movie theatres, and camping sites have also been given permission to reopen. Sports matches behind closed doors and without an audience can also resume, although contact should be limited, the government advised. Businesses are now allowed to operate until a 1 a.m. curfew.

In data recorded by Johns Hopkins University, Belgium recorded more than 58,600 confirmed cases of COVID-19 and more than 9,522 deaths in its outbreak.

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Additionally, Belgium had set a rule that only a maximum of four people were allowed to visit households and are now allowed to extend their social bubble and see up to 10 people per week. Social distancing rules remain in effect.

Belgians will be able to travel around their country for longer than a day starting June 8. Beginning June 15, borders will open to the Schengen zone, which includes 22 members of the European Union. Terms for travel outside of the European Union will depend on conditions within those individual countries.

But the reopening does not mean that Belgium is completely open. There are still two more phases in the plan before Belgian life settles into its new normal.