Time to consider restarting nightlife, says hospitality sector
Share article:
Share article:

Time to consider restarting nightlife, says hospitality sector

Credit: VRT

The time has come to think about the reopening of nightlife in Belgium, the federation for the hospitality sector announced on Monday following reports of mass gatherings across the weekend. 

The images of the partying crowds in Brussels this weekend do not come as a surprise, the federation said, adding that it is time to think about the reopening of night clubs.

This weekend, the Brussels police had to intervene in Ixelles to disperse a mass of people near the Place Flagey, as several hundred pub-goers continued the party after the 1:00 AM closing time of the pubs.

“More checks are needed, but they will only push such parties into illegality, in forests or people’s homes,” Frédérick Dasoghe, responsible for cafés and nightlife at Horeca Brussel, told Bruzz. “We already mentioned on Friday that such illegal parties would take place. We urgently need to find a solution,” he added.

Belgian virologist Marc Van Ranst was severely critical of the crowds. “This is unwise and undermines support for the corona measures,” he said. Additionally, the Brussels police announced that they would double down on checks.

The federation, as well as its Flemish counterpart, pleads for a later closing hour, which is now still 1:00 AM, to avoid people continuing their gatherings in the street afterwards. “But this shows that we urgently need to think about restarting nightlife,” Dasoghe said.

Related News:

 

However, pushing back the closing time would not solve anything, according to experts, and only shift the problem to a later hour.

“The later you go out, the more you might drink, the less inclined you will be to keep the 1.5 metres distance. Whether you’re sitting at a table or standing on a square,” said professor Erika Vlieghe, who heads the Group of Experts for the Exit Strategy (GEES), on Radio 1.

“It is about much more than just a closing hour, the problem is deeper than that. This is about people who do not know how to deal with the new normal,” Vlieghe added.

“Nightclubs are aware of the coronavirus measures and want to deal with them in a good way. They are better equipped to control parties, including in terms of alcohol and drugs. People should be able to party in a controlled way,” Dasoghe said.

At the previous National Security Council, Belgian Prime Minister Sophie Wilmès announced that night clubs would have to wait until at least the end of the summer to reopen.

Maïthé Chini
The Brussels Times

Latest news

Experts call for more widespread use of masks as figures rise
As coronavirus figures continue to rise, Belgian Prime Minister Alexander De Croo has suggested that people return to wearing masks when indoors with ...
Belgium wants to recover €420 million in wrongfully paid out coronavirus aid
The Belgian State intends to recover €420 million of unduly paid Covid-19 aid, La Libre Belgique reported on Thursday. The electronic Council of ...
Why the fight for transgender rights is polarising Europe 
Year after year, Samuel De Schepper would ask Santa Claus to bring him a penis for Christmas. Born female and attending an all girl’s Catholic ...
New offshore wind farm officially opened
Despite being operational since the end of 2020, the SeaMade offshore wind farm was officially inaugurated on Wednesday by Prime Minister Alexander ...
Contact tracers have no time for calls, only texts, amid rising cases
Contract tracers will no longer make phone calls to the high-risk contacts of people who test positive for the coronavirus beginning from Wednesday, ...
Belgium holds on to top spot in FIFA rankings despite recent losses
Once again, Belgium's Red Devils have held onto their position at the top of the world football rankings, according to an update released by the ...
Proximus pushes for high-speed internet in Brussels and Wallonia
Fifteen municipalities in Wallonia should soon have access to high-speed internet through the rollout of fibre optics in the region, telecoms giant ...
Why Belgium is regulating sex work
After decades of confusing rules and hypocritical policy, Belgium is finally regulating sex work by removing prostitution from the criminal law. ...
World’s largest chocolate warehouse opens in Flanders
On Thursday, Barry Callebaut – the largest global chocolate processor and manufacturer – opened the world's largest chocolate warehouse in Lokeren, ...
Belgium in Brief: Equal Opportunity To Dance
There's a phrase where I'm from, more often said in jest nowadays, but it came to my mind this morning: "Ye dancin'?" (Are you dancing?), one ...
Farmer discovers cocaine in banana boxes bought in Brussels
A Flemish farmer who purchased boxes of bananas at the market in Brussels on Tuesday came home to discover large amounts of cocaine packed among the ...
Changes to speed cameras increase likelihood of a ticket
Changes to the way speed cameras work in Flanders and Wallonia will increase the likelihood of receiving a ticket when cars pass them above the ...