Ban on visiting second homes should be lifted, says Flemish MP
Monday, 18 May 2020
The ban on visiting a second residence should be lifted as soon as possible, according to Flemish Minister-President Jan Jambon and Flemish Minister for Tourism Zuhal Demir.
Jambon will raise the issue with the National Security Council. However, the next relaxation of the measures is not predicted until 8 June, as Belgian Prime Minister Sophie Wilmès said during the last conference, but many second home owners think this is too late.
“A ban must be useful or be withdrawn,” Demir wrote in a Facebook post on Monday. “If you prevent people from going to their property, rental accommodation or mobile home, you have to be able to give a good reason for that. In the first place for those people themselves. And that motivation is completely lacking today. On the contrary, important voices in the debate, such as virologist Marc Van Ranst, call the ban a ‘bad measure’ and ‘virologically useless’,” she added.
“Without virological justification, the National Security Council must then be consistent and lift the ban on going to a second residence as soon as possible,” Demir added.
“There are ongoing talks between the members of the National Security Council,” Jambon’s spokesperson told VRT. “If it can be done in safe conditions, I do not think we should necessarily wait for Phase 3. We will see how that can happen in the Security Council,” he said, adding that Jambon does not have a specific date in mind.
The property owners protest that the government is depriving them of the right to enjoy their property, and point out that nobody is suggesting that people renting apartments should immediately be allowed to come to the coast.
“We really don’t understand why visiting your second home is still prohibited,” Ann Willekens, owner of an apartment in Westende, told Het Laatste Nieuws last week. “There is no scientific reason for this as long as we adhere to the same safety regulations as elsewhere.”