Restaurants, bars and cafés

Restaurants, bars and cafés are open to the public both indoors and outdoors.

The accommodation of customers is subject to specific rules depending on the system under which these establishments choose to operate.

Owners of restaurants, bars and cafés can choose whether they want to opt for the CovidCheck system or not. 

CovidCheck

The CovidCheck system is a system applicable to establishments (e.g. restaurants, bars, fitness centres, shops, etc.), events or gatherings (e.g. sporting events, concerts, etc.) open to the public, where entry is reserved exclusively for people (customers, spectators, staff, supervisors) who have been vaccinated, recovered or tested negative (either by means of an on-site self-test or by means of a certified negative result). Children under 6 years of age are exempt from performing an on-site self-test or presenting a COVID-19 test certificate. 

For more information on the CovidCheck system and its notification procedure, please visit our page dedicated to the CovidCheck system.

With CovidCheck system

The establishment operates without having to comply with special sanitary measures such as wearing a mask for staff in direct contact with customers or for customers themselves, and customers are no longer obliged to eat at the table and to respect the distance between tables. Terraces must be strictly defined. 

For establishments that receive the public after 01.00 a.m. and wish to benefit from the CovidCheck system, rapid antigen tests must be certified to be valid and admitted between 01.00 a.m. and 06.00 a.m. 

Without CovidCheck system

If the operator does not opt for the CovidCheck system, he must comply with specific sanitary measures.

An outside area is an open-air outdoor space with at least 3 surfaces open in order to allow for free air circulation and natural ventilation of the space.

Only seated places are allowed and consumption is only possible at the table. 

Indoors, each table can only accommodate a maximum of 4 people unless the people are members of the same household.

Outdoors, each table can only accommodate a maximum of 10 people unless the people are members of the same household.

Counters are not considered as tables. 

Tables should be separated by at least 1.5 metres or by a barrier or any physical separation to limit the risk of infection.

The wearing of a mask is compulsory for the customer when not seated at the table and for the staff in direct contact with the customers.

FAQ

I am the manager of a nightclub and have opted for the CovidCheck system. Do customers who have entered before 01.00 a.m. following a self-test on the premises have to leave the premises at 01.00 a.m.?

Yes, non-certified self-tests are not valid nor admitted after 01.00 a.m. Customers who have entered using such a test must leave the establishment. If they fail to do so, they are subject to penalties. They risk fines of 500 to 1,000 euros. 

I am the manager of an establishment that welcomes guests after 1 a.m. and I have opted for the CovidCheck system. Which rapid antigen tests may I accept in order to ensure compliance with the law?

You can accept negative COVID-19 test certificates issued by a laboratory or certified test certificates, with or without a QR code.

For more information on the CovidCheck system and its notification procedure, please visit our page dedicated to the CovidCheck system.

I am a café/restaurant owner and I want to apply the CovidCheck system. Does this mean that I can only have people in my establishment who have been vaccinated, recovered or tested negative, or who have undergone a rapid antigenic test on site with a negative result?

Yes, as soon as the choice has been made to operate under the CovidCheck system, the rules of the CovidCheck system will have to be respected without exceptions. The rules of the CovidCheck system apply to both clients and staff of the establishment. 

I am a café/restaurant owner and I would like to opt for the CovidCheck system only for the evening service, certain days of the week or part of the establishment. Is this possible?

Yes, it is perfectly possible for establishments to choose to operate only under this system for a given service or for fixed days of the week (e.g. Saturdays and Sundays) or even for particular events (e.g. weddings or birthday parties). They may also decide that only a part of their establishment operates under this system, e.g. the indoor catering room. If the establishment has several separate rooms, it can also decide to apply the CovidCheck system only to a specific room, provided that these rooms are clearly separated. However, once such a choice has been made, the strict rules of the CovidCheck system must be observed without exception. With regard to the staff, only personnel who comply with the CovidCheck system may serve the part of the establishment or the room where the system is in place. Staff must wear masks as soon as they move to or serve a part of the establishment or room that is not operating under the CovidCheck system. 

I am a restaurant owner, I have opted for the CovidCheck system, but I would like to reconsider my choice. Is this possible?

Yes, of course. You just have to make sure that it is also clear to the customers and you have to respect the rules that apply to establishments not operating under the CovidCheck system. 

I am a restaurant owner and I have a covered porch, but I have not opted for the CovidCheck system. Can I welcome customers there?

Porches are fixed spaces, attached to a building, and in general enclosed by glass panes. Thus, they are not open-air like outside areas and can therefore only be used by customers if the windows on 3 surfaces are open. The surface is to be understood as the sides and the upper part of the space. 

I am a café/restaurant owner and I have an outside area. I have not opted for the CovidCheck system, can I install protections against the sun, rain or wind?

Yes, it is perfectly possible to provide such protections as long as they do not hinder the free air circulation and allow for natural aeration of the space. A tent (or other closed dwelling) set up in front of the premises is considered an extension of the premises and cannot be used as an outside area, unless the canvas or other materials are kept open on at least 3 surfaces, so that the air can circulate freely.

I am a café/restaurant owner and my outside area has fixed panels or elements, or the municipal regulations of the municipality in which my establishment is located require separation panels if the outside area is located on the public thoroughfare. I have not opted for the CovidCheck system, can I still open it to the public and provide sun protection, for example?

Some municipalities do indeed impose panels when the outside areas are on the public thoroughfare.

The obligation for spaces used as outside areas to be open on at least 3 surfaces is intended to guarantee the free circulation of air and the aeration of the space, and to prevent spaces from being partitioned by panels or other protection in such a way that there is little or no difference between a space inside and a space outside.

If the panels or elements prevent air from circulating and do not allow adequate aeration of the space, the answer is no. If, on the other hand, the panels and elements do not impede the free circulation of air and the natural aeration of the space, the answer is yes.

I am the manager of a café/restaurant located inside a shopping mall. I have not opted for the CovidCheck system, can I receive customers on the outside area?

Yes, if the outside area is located outdoors and open-air. 

I have not opted for the CovidCheck system. My outside area is located in an inner courtyard. Can I welcome the public there, knowing that the area must in principle be open on at least 3 surfaces?

The obligation for spaces used as outside areas to be open on at least 3 surfaces is intended to guarantee the free circulation of air and the aeration of the space, and to prevent spaces from being partitioned by panels or other protection in such a way that there is little or no difference between a space inside and a space outside.

If the courtyard is so small that it is difficult for air to circulate and the space cannot be adequately aerated, the answer is no.

Is it allowed to smoke on the outside area?

Yes. Smoking is not authorised inside restaurants or cafés, but it is allowed on outside areas.

I am the manager of a restaurant and I have opted for the CovidCheck system inside but not on my outside area. Can customers on the outside area pay inside the restaurant or café, or even go inside to reserve a table on the outside area?

While it is in principle strongly recommended to pay outside the establishments in question and to telephone for any reservation, customers may nevertheless enter the establishment to pay for their drinks, go to the toilet or to reserve a table on the outside area. The wearing of a mask inside the establishment is then compulsory for consumers of the outside area. The staff of the establishment will have to wear a mask on the outside area when they are in direct contact with customers. 

Are occasional or accessory catering activities and serving refreshments allowed?

Occasional and accessory catering and serving of refreshments is prohibited, unless these activities take place in the context of or on the occasion of events taking place under the CovidCheck system. 

Our association or company would like to organise a barbecue party but without a caterer. Is this possible? And can we plan activities for the children?

Yes, but only if you opt for the CovidCheck system. With the CovidCheck system, you can do the grilling yourself and you can also organise activities for the children. The CovidCheck system allows you to organise an event without having to comply with any restrictions, although these are still strongly recommended. Children under 6 years of age do not need to be tested or show a negative test certificate. 

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