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Brussels region considers ban on cafe terrace heating

11:11 06/10/2022

Cafes, bars and restaurants in Brussels could soon be banned from having heated outdoor terraces, under a new proposal being considered by the region's government amid soaring energy costs.

Several Brussels municipalities - including Brussels-City, Jette, Ixelles and Woluwe-Saint-Lambert - have already taken measures to ban outdoor heating.

The Brussels government now wants to harmonise the rules across all of the region's 19 municipalities.

It hopes that having common region-wide regulations will avoid unfair competition between restaurants with a heated terrace and those without.

The measure was announced this week by Brussels environment minister Alain Maron (Ecolo) and is currently under consultation with hospitality industry partners.

"The environmental and energy impact of heated terraces must be taken seriously," Maron said. "A lot of businesses are facing unsustainable energy bills."

Geoffroy Coomans de Brachene, a Brussels member of parliament from the MR party, is against a ban on outdoor heating.

"Over the past two years, we have promoted outdoor terraces, with a view to combating the coronavirus crisis," he said.

"They have made it possible for people to limit their exposure to sources of infection. Now we are calling for the opposite.

"In the meantime, the hospitality industry has spent sometimes considerable amounts of money on improving their outdoor areas. We must support them and understand their grievances."

Written by The Bulletin