Belgian restaurants will fight ‘discriminatory’ coronavirus shutdown in court
Share article:
Share article:

Belgian restaurants will fight ‘discriminatory’ coronavirus shutdown in court

Credit: Belga

Restaurant owners in Belgium are gearing up to legally challenge their government-ordered and “discriminatory” month-long closure, claiming there is insufficient scientific evidence to back it.

Several businesses owners hit by the four-week closure said they will bring their case to Belgium’s Council of State and push to fast-track its review by the country’s highest administrative court.

The entrepreneurs, mainly active in the restaurant sector in Brussels and Wallonia, joined forces via an informal collective whose aim is to see the court overturn the government’s recent tightening of rules, which they claim is discriminatory.

Related News:

 

The Belgian government’s most recent tightening of rules, which came into effect on Monday, will keep all bars, restaurants and cafes in the country shut down until at least 8 November, pending a review of measures in two weeks’ time.

“In March the general lockdown impacted everybody — but, in this case, why is it only the horeca [the hotel, restaurant and café industry] that is targeted?” Clément Pesesse, one of the lawyers preparing the complaints, told 7sur7.

Pesesse also called out the government for putting businesses under increased stress by announcing that the measures would come into force “from one day to the other.”

“The Belgian state is at fault here,” he said, adding also that the collective believed there was a lack of factual data to justify closing down only food and drink establishments, echoing previous complaints from business owners in Brussels.

The collective also said that the measures announced this weekend by the government were “largely insufficient” to bring relief to businesses who have been hard-hit by on-and-off closures since the nationwide lockdown was imposed in March.

“With this action, we aim to defend not only the cafes and restaurants but also a whole string of businesses and companies that will be impacted by the general shut down of the horeca sector,” a restaurant owner member of the collective said.

The group’s is aiming to introduce their complaint on Tuesday and has received the backing of an employers’ organisation, the Fédération Patronale Interprofessionnelle SDI as well as horeca federations in the provinces of Namur, Liège and of the Walloon Brabant.

Gabriela Galindo
The Brussels Times

Latest news

Belgian food industry hopeful for future after exceptional challenges
The past two years have posed exceptional challenges to all manner of industries, with almost no sector untouched by the strains the pandemic has ...
Covid Safe Ticket led to more infections in Belgium, says expert
The introduction of the Covid Safe Ticket (CST) in Belgium did not necessarily increase the vaccination rate, but instead resulted in more ...
Pfizer and Moderna can ‘adapt vaccines to Omicron variant’ in a few months
If the current mRNA coronavirus vaccines developed by Pfizer and Moderna are not effective against the Omicron variant of the virus, the companies ...
Video of three trams at standstill on Brussels intersection goes viral
A video of three trams at a standstill in a triangle at an intersection in the Brussels municipality of Schaerbeek last weekend went viral, as it ...
Fake PCR tests lead to court hearings for 160 air passengers
In recent months a high number of passengers arriving at Brussels Airport have been found to have fake negative PCR tests; 160 travellers will appear ...
No crowds, limited events: these measures take effect today
Most of Belgium's latest measures already took effect on Saturday, but some changes – concerning public events, sports competitions and schools – ...
Brussels and Liège residents invited to sleep rough to raise awareness for homeless
As temperatures dip below freezing, sleeping on the streets becomes potentially life-threatening, even without factoring in the myriad other hazards ...
Belgium in Brief: Delta, Gamma… Omicron?
Since June, the World Health Organisation (WHO) is no longer calling newly-discovered coronavirus "variants of concern" after the country where they ...
Omicron variant poses ‘very high’ global risk, warns WHO
The Omicron coronavirus variant poses a "very high" global risk for which countries must be well-prepared, said the World Health Organisation (WHO) ...
De Croo: ‘The one certainty that we can rely on is the impact of our personal behaviour’
On Monday morning, Prime Minister Alexander De Croo spoke on La Première radio station about the recently-announced coronavirus measures and, in ...
Booster vaccines already available for all Brussels residents
All residents of the Brussels-Capital Region from 18 years old can make an appointment for a third/booster dose against the coronavirus from this ...
Covid-19 decisions made ‘too hastily’, socialist leader argues
The government is missing a "general lack of method" when it comes to how coronavirus fighting measures are decided on, according to the leader of ...