Horeca Vlaanderen – the umbrella organisation of the hospitality industry in Flanders – has renewed its call to ban people who are not vaccinated from clubs, citing a “dramatic situation.”
A Covid Safe Ticket (CST) remains compulsory to enjoy Belgian nightlife; however, since Saturday 20 November, face masks are also mandatory for events with more than 50 people. In order for face masks not to be required, nightclubs, discos and dance halls must now require a self-test at the entrance, as well as a valid CST.
Horeca Vlaanderen already presented its proposal to impose a “2G club principle” where only those who are fully vaccinated or have recently recovered from Covid-19 can enter. This would mean that anyone who has not been fully vaccinated or recovered from the virus would not be allowed to enter a venue, regardless of having a negative test result. The organisation argues that the past weekend’s experiences prove that the current measures are not feasible solutions for the sector.
Speaking to The Brussels Times, spokesperson of Horeca Vlaanderen Kaatje Lucas described the challenges faced by venues and staff in the nightlife sector: “It is very difficult for establishments to check that face masks are kept on. We also received reports that some people had to queue for two hours before they could go in and be tested.”
“That spoils the atmosphere of nightlife which is why we insist on the 2G principle so that people can party safely but also in the most normal way possible.” Lucas added that the number of partygoers also dropped significantly this weekend.
Horeca Vlaanderen has once again proposed an outright ban on those who are not vaccinated, which many club owners argued would be much more feasible. The organisation hopes that the examples of last weekend will be enough proof to sway ministers.
This would mean that if unvaccinated people’s CST is scanned, it would no longer show a green screen for entry, even if a negative PCR test has been taken.
The organisation reported that even before the new measures were introduced, venues and catering services were receiving an influx of cancellations. It argues that these rules must be standardised across all venues.