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Sauna and spa operators start court case to reopen

Credit: Belga

Around thirty operators of private saunas and spas, with the help of the SpaBelgium Federation, began summary proceedings before the Council of State on Thursday.

They are asking for the annulment of a number of articles of the ministerial decree, allowing them to reopen their doors, and are claiming damages for loss of earnings.

The spa and sauna operators do not understand that certain sectors are already allowed to reopen while they aren’t, they said, pointing out that there is no contact with other bubbles or persons.

“Public swimming pools have already been allowed to reopen, as have guest rooms, accommodation and holiday homes that have a private wellness area,” said SpaBelgium president Christiaan Janssens.

Experts have indicated that there is no longer any reason to keep private saunas closed, he added.

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Last December, a twofold procedure had already been started, for which the competent ministers of the Federal Government were summoned and a request for cancellation was submitted to the Council of State.

However, this procedure takes a long time. “Since a large number of private sauna operators are facing serious financial problems, SpaBelgium feels obliged to initiate an emergency summary procedure,” Janssens said.

This summary procedure makes it possible to deal with the case much more quickly – specifically on Wednesday 24 February, two days before a new Consultative Committee meeting.

The private sauna operators believe that the government is at fault and that it “does not even have the courtesy to respond to (their) arguments.”

The Brussels Times