The beginning of the end of the exit from lockdown

Belgium’s national security met yesterday to decide whether to start the third, and final, phase of the exit from lockdown.

According to The Brussels Times, phase 3 starts as planned from 8 June while VRT emphasises that this means major relaxation of corona restrictions from 8 June.

Politico gets to the heart of the matter: Restaurants and bars to reopen in Belgium.

According to Prime Minister, Sophie Wilmès:

We started by banning everything. There was a lockdown. Starting 8 June we will think differently. Freedom is our point of departure. Everything will be possible, except the things that are banned.

This means, among other things, that restaurants and bars will be allowed from the 8th June, but with social distancing measures in place. Tables have to be at least 1.5 metres apart, waiters have to wear masks, and ten people is the maximum number of people able to go out together.

We are fully planning to take advantage of this as soon as we are able — almost certainly next week — and negotiations within the family as to where we should go first are ongoing.

Teleworking is still recommended where possible, and it’s certainly possible for me, so we can even pick a weekday without worrying about me being delayed by the rail network.

Trips within Belgium will be permitted again and, from 15th July, travel within the Schengen zone will also be allowed (depending on the rules in the destination country). That said, we aren’t making any holiday plans this year and will probably stay at home this summer and take plenty of day trips.

I’ve already mentioned that summer camps will be going ahead in July, so the boys will get a break even if no-one else does.

Cinemas re-open on 1st July and I already have an email from the nearby multiplex letting us know that they will there for us.

And we will be there for them.

3 thoughts on “The beginning of the end of the exit from lockdown

  1. I expect everything will be open in the UK pretty soon. Not sure that it really should be here though. Restaurants have been pretty much off the table for us since the arrival of the little one anyway (or at least since she started being very noisy in public), but I would often go to the cinema on my own for a bit of escapism and I really miss that at the moment.

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    1. Here the infection rate peaked somewhere in April and they have been slowly easing restrictions since May. For most of last month it’s been a case of slightly easing restrictions then checking the impact before easing the next one. And now we’re starting to come fully out of lockdown and — hopefully — everything will be back to normal by the end of Summer.

      I really miss going to the cinema as well. There is something about sitting in a darkened room with a big screen and a bunch of strangers that really can’t be replicated.

      As far as restaurants go, we started taking the kids along with us pretty much as soon as they were born. Belgian restaurants (and bars, for that matter) tend to be quite tolerant of children and we’ve always found that, as long as we have plenty of distractions available, the boys will all behave themselves pretty well. In fact, I think they are looking forward to being able to go out again at least least as much as I am 🙂

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  2. Although we are in Toronto we are close to the US in proximity and mentality and the protests are ongoing. I do see people wearing masks…we’re still in phase 1 but…it’s encouraging to read how other countries are planning ahead.

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