Coronavirus: restaurants to stage ‘cemetery’ protest in Brussels’ Grand Place
Share article:
Share article:

Coronavirus: restaurants to stage ‘cemetery’ protest in Brussels’ Grand Place

© Belga

Thousands of white chef’s jackets will be strewn across the main square of Brussels in a protest staged to draw attention to how the coronavirus lockdown is suffocating restaurant sector.

The protest in the city’s Grand Place will also aim to demand some perspective from government leaders regarding the conditions under which the catering industry may be allowed to resume activities.

Named ‘I am dropping my chef’s jacket’ the organisers said that the protest, when seen from above, would give the impression of looking down into a cemetery.

“To this day, we have still not received precise information from the government regarding our deconfinement,” the organisers wrote. “This failure from the government to assume responsibility is deadly.”

The demonstration comes as Belgian governments begin to loosen lockdown restrictions, allowing some non-essential industries to begin work again.

Organiser Coralie Michiels, who runs the local restaurant group Restauration Nouvelle, told Le Soir that their idea was first to send a letter to the prime minister, but that with fellow organisers, they decided to go for something more eye-catching.

“We decided to go for a stronger image, over a thousand vests from all over the country will be laid flat on the ground, which, in looking down at the square, will look a bit like a cemetery.”

Michiels said that those in the restaurant and catering industries were holding their breath each day for new regulations capable of offering the sector some perspective, adding that they decided to act now because they couldn’t let their businssess “die little by little.”

“We think that, since 13 March —when we are suddenly asked to shut down in 24 hours— and today, nothing much has changed,” she said.

Since the lockdown was imposed throughout Belgium, restaurants and cafes were ordered to close down but take out and delivery were allowed to continue.

In press conferences, the government has earmarked June for a possible date to begin allowing restaurants, bars and cafes to return back to normal.

“Until now, we have only gotten an unconfirmed date, 8 June. It is more than time to know how everything will work going forward,” she said. “Over 440,000 thousands direct and indirect jobs are on the line.”

Gabriela Galindo
The Brussels Times

Latest news

Belgium in Brief: Rules For A Fourth Wave
It's the news that nobody wants to hear, but here we go again. Belgium’s council of ministers will hold an emergency meeting on Monday to discuss ...
Belgian grandparents to walk across Scotland for COP26
A group of Belgian grandparents has set off on a 100 km hike that will take them from Belgium to the Scottish city of Glasgow, just ahead of the ...
Gare Maritime: Brussels’ most exciting new architectural project
A generation ago, the Gare Maritime in the Tour & Taxis industrial site was an abandoned wasteland. It is now a model for urban renewal and ...
Rise in fuel prices will bring Belgian State €547 million in tax, say Workers Party
The sharp rise in fuel prices that have been felt across the continent will bring an additional €547 million to the Belgian State, the Workers' Party ...
Amid backlash, Brussels police chief promises to do better for sexual assault victims
After multiple rallies against sexual violence took place in Brussels last week, with victims offering testimony of poor treatment from police when ...
Hire bikes and scooters: Brussels Parliament wants to restore order
Majority parties in the Brussels Parliament plan to enact new rules allowing communes to set specific and mandatory parking spaces for hire bikes and ...
‘Fourth wave’ has begun: These are the rules
The expected fourth wave of the coronavirus pandemic has begun, according to Belgium’s Health Minister Frank Vandenbroucke (Vooruit). Belgium’s ...
Coronavirus: Ending the pandemic is ‘a choice,’ says WHO chief
The Covid-19 pandemic will end “when the world chooses to end it” because “all the tools” are now available to fight the virus, the World Health ...
‘Can’t keep count’: Instagram page for sexual assault testimonies overwhelmed
An Instagram account compiling testimonies in an effort to give a voice to victims of sexual violence in bars and nightclubs has been overwhelmed ...
Increase in number of people ‘asking King for mercy’ through royal pardons
More and more people living in Belgium have been seeking royal pardons, mainly for fines, largely as a result of it now being possible to send in ...
England now accepting cheaper Covid tests from fully vaccinated travellers
Fully vaccinated travellers who enter England from non-red countries will only be required to book a lateral flow test to take following their ...
Re-introducing face masks indoors considered as Covid-19 situation worsens
Belgium's council of ministers will hold an emergency meeting on Monday to discuss the worsening epidemiological situation, and reintroducing face ...