World "The French are welcome as long as they behave...

“The French are welcome as long as they behave well”

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648x415 grand place tournai belgique

The grand place of Tournai, Belgium. – M.Libert / 20 Minutes

  • In Belgium, the terraces of bars and restaurants reopen from Saturday 8 May.
  • A measure taken two weeks before France which could tempt many Northerners.
  • No measure will be taken on the Belgian side to prevent French customers from crossing the border.

To storm. In Belgium, cafes, bars and restaurants will once again be able to welcome customers, from Saturday, under special conditions and only on outdoor terraces. A release of pressure that comes two weeks before similar measures are taken in France. Therefore, there is no doubt that many French border residents will be tempted to go beyond Quiévrain to enjoy some refreshments, hopped or not. Should our neighbors fear an invasion of Northerners? And can they only cross the border?

In Belgium, the federal government and the governments of the federated entities have therefore acted a new reduction in health measures to fight against the coronavirus epidemic from Saturday. The terraces of bars and restaurants may reopen between 8 a.m. and 10 p.m. under certain conditions. Among other things, to admit only four people per table, that they are spaced 1.50 m apart and not to serve at the bar.

Borders open without restriction

In addition, since April 19, non-essential trips from France to another country in the European Union are again authorized. This does not change much for cross-border commuters who, subject to not exceeding a perimeter of 30 km around their home, could continue to cross the Belgian border. For stays of less than 48 hours in Belgium, it will not be necessary to complete the Passenger Tracking Form, nor to present a PCR test. On the Belgian side, the authorities also reopened the borders for non-essential activities. So, the Northerners will be able to go to their neighbors on Saturday, subject to returning before the curfew.

Last summer, several Flemish seaside resorts banned “day tourists” to avoid a stampede of the French on their beaches. Such measures are not the order of the day for terraces. “There will be no discrimination, we will not ask for the identity card of bar customers. The French are always welcome as long as they behave well ”, assures 20 Minutes the bourgmestre of Tournai. For the chosen one, the problem is elsewhere: “Many restaurants have already let us know that they were not going to reopen because it is not profitable only with the terrace”, continues the elected, specifying that it is not was not the case with bars.

There is therefore a risk of there being a certain disparity between supply and demand, at least in theory. Because this disparity could be mitigated by the weather factor if the bad forecasts were to be confirmed for this weekend. Anyway, those that the rain would not cool, it will be necessary to plan a “Sam”. Contacted by 20 Minutes, the prefecture of the North announced that “control operations could indeed be carried out” at the border crossing points.

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