The Half-Open Half-Closed Store On Dutch-Belgian Border

Story ByLee Bullen, Sub EditorJoseph Golder, AgencyNewsflash

A store that straddles the Netherlands-Belgium border has opened half of its premises on the Dutch side but closed the Belgian half to comply with local laws.

The different measures taken by the Dutch and Belgian authorities to prevent the spread of COVID-19 has caused some confusion and one miffed shopper said: “I needed underwear, but that’s in the Belgian part of the store so I could not get it.”

According to local media, the Dutch municipality of Baarle-Nassau, the site of a complicated borderline between Belgium and the Netherlands, is following the government’s guideline of only enforcing social distancing in shops.

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However, the Belgian authorities have ordered the closure of all non-essential stores.

The Dutch municipality of Baarle-Nassau is linked to the exclaves of the Belgian Baarle-Hertog municipality, and the border splits streets, buildings and even some shops.

Due to the differing COVID-19 measures, a Zeeman clothing store that straddles the border has been forced to close half the premises on the Belgian side while the Dutch side remains open for business.

Newsflash/Google Maps

Baarle-Nassau mayor Marjon De Hoon said: “The square metres [of the store] in Belgium just follow the Belgian measures. The square metres in the Netherlands, follow the Dutch measures.”

De Hoon added that it “is not possible at the moment” for customers to shop in the Belgian half.

One frustrated shopper bemoaned: “I needed underwear, but that’s in the Belgian part of the store so I could not get it.”

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