Belgian night shops’ appeal against early closing hour rejected
Tuesday, 11 August 2020
On Monday, an appeal made by the managers of several night shops against the early closing time of their business because of the coronavirus regulations was rejected by the Council of State.
The measure is proportionate to its objective, namely to prevent partygoers from continuing their evening in public on the street after the closure of hospitality establishments, the Council of State ruled.
A manager of a night shop in Flemish Brabant had referred the matter to the institution after the National Security Council decided at the end of June to bring forward the closing time of this type of business to 10:00 PM, with the aim of curbing the spread of the coronavirus.
The manager’s request was supported by several other operators of night shops, but was rejected on Monday.
“The Council of State considers that the measure has a solid basis in the observed increase in the number of infections, particularly among young age groups, and in the general risk of the existence of an ‘alternative nightlife’ after the closing time of the hospitality industry, encouraged by the consumption of alcohol on sale in night shops,” the ruling said.
Additionally, the Council of State points out that the measure of social distancing is often no longer respected during these night outings, and therefore compromises the control of the health crisis.