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Lockdown: mass events may go forward on case by case basis

© Belga

From 1 August, large venues will be allowed to organise mass events with audiences that surpass the current limits subject to approval on a case by case basis.

Flemish Minister Zuhal Demir on Tuesday announced the creation of an “events counter” which will review applications for mass events organised by larger, fixed venues even if they go beyond the current audience limits.

The counter was approved by the National Security Council (NSC) aims to give the events sector a “chance for a safe restart.”

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“With event specialists and virologists, we will help mayors decide whether events with large audience numbers [can go forward] without compromising public health,” Demir tweeted.

The most recent relaxation of measures by the NSC gave the green light to indoor events with 400 attendants and outdoor events with 800 guests, starting from 1 August.

“An exception can be requested by permanent venues with a seated public to go beyond this limit, all the while respecting sanitary regulations,” a statement by the prime minister’s cabinet reads.

The exception was created with view of arenas such as Antwerp’s Sportaleis (18,400 seats) or Brussels’ Palais 12 (15,000), make their way out of the coronavirus lockdown.

Applications will be analysed on a case by case basis by the counter, composed of events specialists, virologist from the GEES group of experts for lifting the lockdown and government ministers, Demir said.

After the counter issues a piece of unanimous advice, the final call on whether to allow a mass event to go forward will fall on the mayors.

The Brussels Times

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