No masks or social distance: Flanders plans ‘test concert’ for 1,000 people

No masks or social distance: Flanders plans ‘test concert’ for 1,000 people
Credit: Belga

The Flemish government wants to organise a “test concert” for about 1,000 young people next month, to find out how to safely organise events this summer, announced Minister-President Jan Jambon.

Flanders aims to organise the event – during which can dance and sing, without face masks or social distancing – in the city of Hasselt in the second half of April.

“Test events allow quick and self-tests to prove themselves in safe conditions as the key to a summer full of fun. That way, we have something to look forward to,” the announcement said.

Everyone who attends will have to undergo three different tests: a classic PCR test, a classic antigen test and a self-test, as the event will be an “important test to help us safely reopen the culture and events sector soon,” Jambon told Het Laatste Nieuws.

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Additionally, all participants will be asked to respect a quarantine period of one week afterwards, until they undergo a follow-up test, which will be a PCR test.

According to Flemish Education Minister Ben Weyts, giving students the first chance “to enjoy a gig,” can bring “some positive perspective to a group that has been missing out on a lot.”

Flemish Tourism Minister Zuhal Demir added that the virus will still be around in the coming year, when the event sector gets back on its feet.

“Whether we want it or not, rapid tests and self-tests will play a crucial role when people start partying again,” she added.

The plan, which was inspired by similar tests in the Netherlands, and was worked out together with the events sector and virologists from the universities of Hasselt and Antwerp, still has to be approved by the Federal Ethics Commission.

Maïthé Chini
The Brussels Times

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