‘Transition period’: only two fitness centres checked for mandatory CO2 meter
Share article:
Share article:

‘Transition period’: only two fitness centres checked for mandatory CO2 meter

Credit: Belga

Since CO₂ meters to monitor indoor air quality became compulsory in hospitality venues and fitness centres in Belgium, barely any checks have been carried out by government bodies.

CO₂ meters have been mandatory in Belgium since 9 June, but only two fitness centres have been checked since then. One of them was not in order, according to figures reported by De Standaard.

The meter must be clearly visible and must not be installed next to a door or window. If the meter reads more than 900 ppm (parts per million), owners must take action to reduce the value. Above 1,200 ppm, the establishment must be cleared out and closed.

Yet whilst fitness centres have been largely unchecked, 2,490 hospitality businesses were checked between 9 June and 21 September, according to De Standaard.

In 889 cases, the CO₂ meter proved to be out of order and many establishments did not even have one. Many of those that had been installed could not be read correctly.

However, none of these businesses had to close their premises.

Key to the fight against Covid

The figures are particularly striking because the previous Consultative Committee (on 17 September) underlined the importance of good air quality and the installation of CO₂ meters to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.

Federal Health Minister Frank Vandenbroucke, who at the Committee repeatedly stressed that the stricter air quality measures were the most important decisions for him, reiterated on Tuesday that Belgium reached “a turning point” at the last meeting.

“All governments have agreed to put all their efforts into general air quality regulations for bars, restaurants, fitness centres and event venues,” he said on Flemish radio. “The time when everyone just did as they pleased is over.”

However, Vandenbroucke also showed understanding for owners of restaurants and fitness centres, saying that the authorities realise that ventilation systems or disinfection equipment can be a huge investment.

“That is why we allow a transitional period in which no sanctions are applied when these are not present,” he said.

“Just imagine that all hospitality businesses and fitness centres suddenly start ordering today: it will take months before the equipment is actually in place,” Vandenbroucke said, asking for “a bit of realism.”

Related News:

 

It is not exactly clear when this transitional period will end, nor does the government intend to put this in ministerial terms, he said.

“At the moment, we want to get everyone on the same page. One day there will be an absolute obligation and there will be sanctions for offenders,” Vandenbroucke added. “But the road is very ambitious and we want to walk it together with the sectors involved.”

Furthermore, he explained that the checks are carried out by two government bodies: FPS Health checks the hospitality industry systematically whereas FPS Economy checks fitness centres, but only after a complaint.

“I do hear that FPS Economy checks less strictly. For me, this is not yet a problem, but I will question my colleague (Economy Minister Pierre-Yves Dermagne) on the matter,” Vandenbroucke said.

From Friday 1 October, CO₂ meters will also be compulsory in dance halls, discos and dance pubs, as well as in event halls, party rooms and sports halls, as was decided by the Consultative Committee.

Latest news

More women take police selection tests in Belgium
The selection tests to become a police inspector have more and more female participants, according to figures released by Interior Affairs Minister ...
‘Absurd’: all Brussels schools should have the same Covid rules
Several city councillors for education in Brussels are calling to abolish the "absurd" differences in coronavirus measures for Dutch-speaking and ...
Massive renovations for iconic venue in the heart of Brussels
Brussels concert hall Ancienne Belgique has announced plans to renovate the AB Café and the AB Salon and is looking for a contractor fit for the job. ...
Display of child’s room in Brussels raises awareness of foster families
An exhibit that features a fictitious child’s bedroom has been on display since Tuesday at the Place d'Armes in Namur, with the support of the ...
Test results show pupils have fallen behind in Flemish schools
Learning delays have been reported in almost all subject areas in Flanders since the start of the pandemic, a trend that continued in 2021, a ...
Belgium considers relaxing testing rules for UK travellers
At the next Consultative Committee meeting, Belgium will look into relaxing the testing and entry policy for travellers coming from the United ...
Jette libraries start giving plants away with books
Visitors to libraries in the Brussels municipality of Jette will soon be able to pick up a free plant along with a book, thanks to the new Plantotek ...
‘Do what you want, but do it as safely as possible,’ experts warn
As the daily number of new coronavirus infections exceeds 3,000 for the first time since May, infectious disease expert Erika Vlieghe and ...
‘We’re running dry’: Brussels teacher shortage reaches critical levels
The teacher shortage in Brussels is affecting schools across language borders, according to Brussels’ Minister for Multilingualism and Dutch ...
New coronavirus infections above 3,000 for first time since May
The number of people testing positive for coronavirus has skyrocketed to the highest rate since the start of May 2021. Between 9 and 15 October, ...
Belgium in Brief: Getting To The Airport
When I saw the news of plans for a tram line and cycle path to connect Brussels' outskirts to the airport, my first reaction was sheer joy.  Let ...
EU should invest €5 trillion in climate plan, says State Secretary for Economic Recovery
The European Union must invest €5 trillion in its climate plan over the next decade to "retain its credibility as a political project," according ...