Planned Covid barometer 'can't become labyrinth with pitfalls,' says Jambon

Planned Covid barometer 'can't become labyrinth with pitfalls,' says Jambon
Prime Minister Alexander De Croo (left) and Flemish Minister-President Jan Jambon. Credit: Belga

Belgium should be careful that the planned coronavirus barometer does not become "a labyrinth with pitfalls" but instead offers clear perspectives to the cultural sector, says Flemish Minister-President Jan Jambon.

In the Flemish Parliament on Thursday, Jambon said that he hopes the barometer can bring "some peace," but pointed out that several other countries have already experienced issues with similar tools.

"Without clear perspectives, the barometer becomes a labyrinth with pitfalls, and such a roadmap has little chance of success," he said, adding that he wants to scrap the generic maximum number of 200 visitors for indoor culture and advocates more "proportionality."

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For Jambon, this proportionality should also be included in the coronavirus barometer that the Corona Commissioner is working on. "But I got no answer from the Federal Government last week."

On Thursday afternoon, Prime Minister Alexander De Croo stated in the Chamber that he "absolutely" understands the demand from sectors for more predictability.

"That predictability, on the other hand, also has to take into account the very great complexity of our society," he said. "Doing that in a clear and viable way is not an easy exercise. We must ensure that such a barometer can stand firm, but it must not be rigid either."

The barometer should not be something that makes it impossible for the authorities to respond to changing situations, De Croo added. "That is why the previous Consultative Committee asked the Corona Commission to work on this, and in the meantime, there has been a lot of consultation with the sectors concerned."

On Thursday evening, another meeting between the Prime Minister and the Minister-Presidents of the different Regions will take place to discuss the new proposal from the Corona Commissioner.

It is expected that the barometer will be introduced at a Consultative Committee meeting next week, but a fixed date has yet to be announced.

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