On Tuesday, Federal Health Minister Frank Vandenbroucke presented a proposal for a “barometer” to the culture and events sector to give them more insight into what will be possible when.
Following a lot of criticism on the Consultative Committee’s decision to shut the culture sector last month and the overturning of that decision by the Council of State, Vandenbroucke wants to make sure that sectors can always know what is coming.
“The sector needs perspective and a bit of predictability,” he told VRT. “Today, we have put a very detailed proposal on the table, where, depending on the phase of the epidemic, more and more is possible. But always with an eye on ventilation.”
Vandenbroucke, as well as representatives of the sectors, emphasised that the proposal requires further discussion before it can be implemented.
The plan follows logical principles, stressed Vandenbroucke: more is possible if the event takes place outside, and more is possible if the audience is seated. “Just like in the healthcare sector, people in the culture and events sector are yearning to be able to work in a normal way again, but we are not ready for that at the moment.”
Vandenbroucke wants to work according to three levels of risk in the pandemic: high-risk, well under control, and a situation in between those two. “We want a menu of measures that are known in advance and appropriate to that risk situation. We will never switch on autopilot, that will always require an assessment.”
The Consultative Committee is meeting on Thursday already, but the aim is to have this plan ready – in consultation with the sectors and all the relevant ministers – by the second Committee meeting planned in January, set to take place on Friday 14 January.