Small businesses won’t survive until Easter for relaxed measures, minister warns
Share article:
Share article:

Small businesses won’t survive until Easter for relaxed measures, minister warns

Credit: Belga

Many small businesses on the brink of bankruptcy will not survive if Belgium doesn’t relax measures before Easter, according to Federal Minister for the Self-Employed and SMEs, David Clarinval.

Belgium should be crystal clear about the timing of the relaxations for all the different sectors, Clarinval told De Standaard in an interview, putting pressure on the federal government in the wake of the next Consultative Committee, on Friday 26 February.

“Think of all the self-employed people with businesses that continue to stay shut, while the figures are good. I’m not saying we should reopen everything right away, but we should be thinking about the hospitality industry and some of the sports activities,” he said.

Related News


Other politicians, including N-VA president and mayor of Antwerp, Bart De Wever, have previously called for a loosening of restrictions, and De Wever has even said he was never convinced of the closures of restaurants, arguing they have the capacity to work safely.

Last week, the leader of Clarinval’s party (Francophone liberal MR party), Georges-Louis Bouchez, already pleaded for the reopening of Belgian restaurants by the start of spring, saying they are likely to open sooner than bars.

However, several experts, including biostatistician Geert Molenberghs, have said that people in Belgium should remain patient for a little while longer, and that some measures may then be relaxed during the Easter holidays.

Virologist and inter-federal Covid-19 spokesperson Steven Van Gucht is cautiously hopeful about the figures, but said it is too early to speak of relaxations, adding that Belgium has to reach the set threshold of 75 hospitalisations per day before they can be announced, which could take until mid-March.

Lauren Walker
The Brussels Times

Latest news

Flanders introduces ‘invisible’ speed cameras
New digital speed cameras that are essentially invisible to the road user are being introduced on various roads and motorways in Flanders, Flemish ...
Warnings issued for slippery roads across Belgium
Drivers have been asked to watch out for slippery roads from Saturday afternoon until Sunday evening, as snow and cold temperatures are expected ...
Testing rules following high-risk contact eased for vaccinated people
The coronavirus testing policy following a high-risk contact has been eased, meaning a vaccinated person who was in contact with an infected person ...
New measures announced for Belgian schools
Stricter rules are being implemented across a variety of sectors in Belgium to curb the rising number of infections and limit the damage as a result ...
Majority of booster doses should be administered by March 2022
Invitations will be sent out in the following days for the general population in Belgium to receive a coronavirus booster vaccine, and most adults ...
Belgium adopts national plan to combat gender-based violence
Belgium has adopted a National Action plan for the Fight against Gender-Based Violence, which includes more than 200 measures and unites all levels ...
Antwerp cancels Christmas market and New Year’s Eve fireworks
The city of Antwerp has joined other cities including Leuven and Ghent by announcing it is cancelling this year's Christmas market, the end-of-year ...
Pharmaceutical companies looking into vaccines against new variant
Pharmaceutical companies have sprung into action to look into vaccine protection against the new coronavirus variant first detected in South Africa, ...
Belgium imposes entry ban on travellers from southern Africa
Belgium is introducing an entry ban for travellers from several countries in the south of Africa following concerns about a new variant (B.1.1.529) ...
What Ursula did next
BRUSSELS BEHIND THE SCENES • Weekly analysis and untold stories
Nightclub closures, limiting contacts: These rules come into force today
Just over one week after its last meeting, Belgium's Consultative Committee on Friday once again announced a set of new measures to curb the rising ...
Almost 3,500 Covid-19 patients in hospitals as new cases continue to skyrocket
The number of new coronavirus cases in Belgium is continuing to rise, and with it the number of Covid-19 patients who are hospitalised as a result of ...