With Belgium having more coronavirus-related deaths per capita than any nation in the world, Christmas there is not just a celebration but an issue. The nation already is under a four-person limit for gatherings, the Washington Post reports, and they must be held outdoors. Those rules will hold for the holidays, as well, with an addition: Only one person at the party may go inside to use the bathroom. No one else can go indoors for any reason. "So if you really have to go to the toilet, there will be nothing else to do but return home," a government spokesperson said.
In addition, guests have to be able to reach the outdoor site without going through the hosts' house. "You are not allowed to go through an interior space first," a government minister said, "because then there is a risk that many people will be together in a small space." In effect, per the Post, people living in detached homes can host gatherings, but anyone in a rowhouse can't. The government isn't all Grinch; it did allow nonessential stores to reopen this week to accommodate Christmas shopping. (Last month, Belgian doctors and nurses who tested positive were asked to keep working if they're asymptomatic.)