More than 10,000 events have already been cancelled or postponed in Belgium due to the new coronavirus (Covid-19), Le Soir reported on Friday.
While this is an approximate number, "it is certainly not forced," said Séverine Provost, general manager of Be Culture, one of Belgium's biggest agencies in the cultural communication sector. "We made calls all over Flanders, Brussels and Wallonia. The situation is desperate and we haven't even considered the question of the probable cancellation of the summer festivals."
Recently, leading virologist Marc Van Ranst discouraged the idea of letting the summer festivals take place, as they are attended by people from all over the world. “If you let people from a country where the coronavirus still rages travel to Belgium, you risk reintroducing it here. Additionally, many artists will cancel their performances, and I also expect more travel bans to follow,” Van Ranst said in an interview with Flemish newspaper Het Laatste Nieuws.
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The Budget Minister of the Wallonia-Brussels Federation, Frédéric Daerden, set up a 50 million euro fund on Thursday to help culture, early childhood, sport, youth, education and university hospitals. "We want to reassure the sectors about the Government's resolute will and effective capacity to help them deal with the consequences of confinement," Daerden explained on Thursday.
Flemish Minister for Culture Jan Jambon and his colleague, the Minister for Youth and Media Benjamin Dalle are looking into measures for the Flemish cultural sector, Het Laatste Nieuws reported on 20 March.
The Brussels Times