‘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

Will Brussels bounce back?
The lockdowns have tested the city and forced it to confront key questions about its future. Derek Blyth looks back at an extraordinary moment in our ...
Vaccinations: Belgium’s Health Minister currently not in favour of a general booster shot
The latest figures on new coronavirus cases are worrying, but rather than imposing new safety measures, what is needed is full compliance with ...
Thousands protest against the Covid health pass in France
Demonstrations against the health pass and other measures aimed at preventing the spread of the Coronavirus mobilised tens of thousands of protesters ...
Record-breaking 770-metre highline installed in Freÿr, Beglium
A 770-metre long highline was installed at an altitude of 70 metres at the Freÿr Rocks on Saturday, setting a new Belgian record, according to ...
Huge cannabis farm discovered inside closed down Chinese restaurant near Charleroi
A cannabis plantation with several hundred mature plants was dismantled on Friday evening in a former Chinese restaurant on Chaussée de Bruxelles ...
Citizen founded wind turbine project launched in Liège region
A citizen founded wind turbine project was inaugurated in the Liège Region on Saturday by Walloon Energy Minister Philippe Henry (Ecolo) together ...
Five questions to philosopher Philippe Van Parijs on Leopold II and embarrassment in Brussels’ public space
The worldwide explosion of the Black Lives Matter movement in the aftermath of the death of George Floyd, combined with the 60th anniversary of the ...
Belgium to invest in sustainable heating in 2022
The federal government will set aside about one million euros in its 2022 budget for a social tariff for sustainable heating, Federal Energy Minister ...
Anti-vaxxers demonstrate against Covid Safe Ticket in Brussels
Hundreds of supporters of the anti-vaxx movement gathered on Saturday outside the headquarters of the Pfizer pharmaceutical company to protest ...
Belgium’s investment funds total 260 billion euros in assets
Belgium’s funds industry grew by 5.3% (13 billion euros) in the second quarter of this year, bringing investment funds available to the public to ...
Brussels to Luxembourg by train in two hours soon possible
The fastest train ride between Brussels and Luxembourg currently takes almost three hours, but that could be slashed to about two hours thanks to the ...
Daily Covid infections up by almost 30% in Belgium
Between 6 and 12 October, an average of 2,438 people were infected with the Covid-19 virus every day, according to figures from the Sciensano public ...