It will no longer be compulsory to wear a face mask outdoors in Brussels from this Wednesday, a number of the Belgian capital’s many mayors said Monday.
Masks have been a feature of outdoor life in Brussels since the early days of lockdown in spring 2020, but as vaccination rates increase and hospitalizations fall, there is less need for a mask when out and about, the politicians said.
Philippe Close, the Brussels City mayor, said on Twitter that from June 9 it will “no longer be compulsory to wear a mask outdoors, with the exception of busy shopping streets.”
But don’t put that mask away just yet. It will be up to each commune to decide on the extent of the relaxation of the rules, with each mayor able to say when and where mask-wearing is necessary and where it isn’t.
Etterbeek, for example, won’t have any streets in which it will be mandatory to wear a face mask, mayor Vincent De Wolf said on Twitter.
Social distancing rules will still apply and the requirement to wear a mask while on public transport, in shops and public buildings remains.
Now that the masks are coming off, how about a beer? It has been technically forbidden in Brussels to drink alcohol in public places between the hours of 10 p.m. and 5 a.m. That ban is also now being lifted.
On Friday, the Belgian government announced the latest relaxation of its coronavirus restrictions, with restaurants and bars allowed to open for indoor dining and drinking. It was also announced that people who are fully vaccinated will be exempt from testing when they return from abroad.