Eatery closures in Belgium illegal: court

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A Belgian court has ruled that government measures ordering restaurants and cafes to shut due to the coronavirus pandemic are illegal.

The restrictions imposed by Interior Minister Annelies Verlinden were against the law because she did not have the authority to make that decision, the court concluded, according to a report by broadcaster RTBF.

The court also criticised that the state council was not involved in the decision, according to the report.

The judges are giving the government 30 days to end the illegal action, otherwise it will have to pay a fine of 250,000 euros ($A390,088).

The plaintiffs were about 50 restaurants and a gastronomy association from the French-speaking region Wallonia.

In late March, a court already ruled that a legal basis for the country's coronavirus restrictions was lacking as the related decisions had only been made by ministerial decree.

The government appealed that ruling, with a decision expected on May 18.

The government is also working on a pandemic law that is currently being discussed in parliament and which could provide the legal basis for the restaurant closures.

The ruling on the restaurant closures can be appealed.