Indoor events possible in autumn ‘if everyone is motivated to get vaccinated’, De Croo says
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Indoor events possible in autumn ‘if everyone is motivated to get vaccinated’, De Croo says

Credit: Unsplash/ Long Truong

Large indoor events should be possible again from autumn this year, but only if everyone is motivated to get vaccinated, according to Prime Minister Alexander De Croo.

Referring to the successful rollout of the vaccination campaign in Belgium, where 67% of adults has been fully vaccinated and almost 54% of the total population is fully protected, De Croo said concerts and clubnights indoors should be possible again from September.

“I think we should work towards this goal, and if everyone is motivated to get themselves vaccinated, it should be possible in the second half of the year,” he told Studio Brussel.

However, he stressed that he was not making any promises, adding that “we have already seen many things happen with this virus that we could not predict.”

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“It remains a bit uncertain, but if you look at how fast our vaccination rollout is going, then by the beginning of September, those who should be fully vaccinated will be and so far, there is no reason to believe that the protection would not be good, so in autumn, those kinds of concerts and events where you are standing close to other people should be possible,” he said.

This statement follows the announcement of Pukkelpop, that was meant to take place next month, being cancelled, as the festival organisers would not have the testing capacity for such large crowds.

“Multi-day festivals are more difficult, especially if you have a young audience. Many 16-year-olds, for example, have not yet been fully vaccinated,” De Croo said.

Meanwhile, the Netherlands also announced it is cancelling all multi-day festivals, such as the Lowlands festival, that were planned to take place before 1 September.

Festivals were already suspended until August, when the situation would be evaluated, but the government is now extending that date until 1 September, after the sector asked for clarity sooner.

De Croo made this statement about large indoor events during a radio show in which he presented his favourite summer records, and recalled the feeling of standing among others in a crowd.

“I chose this song by the Subs because it is the type of music that really gives you that feeling of being part of the crowd and the whole crowd and being taken over by the crowd, and that’s a crazy feeling and I think we have been missing that for a long time now,” he said.