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Reopening of terraces in Belgium: freedom regained

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The Belgians braved a capricious weather on Saturday to sit on the terraces of cafes and restaurants which have reopened after almost seven months of forced closure. A relief for customers and professionals in the sector. A report by Alix Le Bourdon.

Admittedly, the weather is not particularly beautiful. But the Belgians are present in the terraces of cafes and restaurants which have reopened after almost seven months. For this first aperitif with friends in a bar, young people from Brussels came very early to take advantage of this newfound freedom before the terraces closed at 10 p.m. “You no longer necessarily have the possibility of seeing your friends outside your home or stupidly being outside, sitting on a terrace. But it’s really nice to be together on the terrace with your friends,” explains one. of them with a false Belgian accent.

No more than four people per table for this reopening under conditions but, even in small groups, the euphoria is intact. “It’s cold but that’s okay. We got equipped and we’re very happy to come back,” adds another customer.

Towards full openness

A breath of fresh air for customers and professionals alike in the sector in great difficulty, forced to close at the end of October to stem the pandemic, and who had been asking for months to be able to welcome customers again. Antonio Agapito, restaurant manager in Brussels, is happy to reopen even if he deplores the absurdity of certain rules. “What would plexiglass have bothered to separate the tables? We installed ten plexi inside that were made especially for that. And then we are told ‘no’, so it’s money to buy. the bin!”

The next step hoped for by restaurateurs, the complete opening of their establishment. “This reduction in health measures was made possible thanks to the indicators of the declining pandemic here in Belgium. And a vaccination which is accelerating. Today, more than a third of the adult population has received a first dose, “explains Alix Le Bourdon, France 24 correspondent in Brussels and author of the report.

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