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Tags: Virus Outbreak | Belgium

Setback for Belgian Govt as Coronavirus Measures Overturned

Setback for Belgian Govt as Coronavirus Measures Overturned

Tuesday, 28 December 2021 02:01 PM EST

BRUSSELS (AP) — In a setback for the Belgian government, an advisory body on Tuesday suspended a Cabinet-ordered closure of the cultural sector — saying that new coronavirus restrictions imposed on cinemas and theaters are unreasonable.

Under new restrictions that took effect Sunday, movie houses, concert halls and art centers were ordered to shut their doors. Some stayed open in protest. The order came despite the assessment of the scientific committee advising the government that going to such places poses no extra risk to public health.

In an emergency procedure, the Council of State ruled that the measures were “not proportionate,” and didn't provide enough motives to “understand why going to cultural sector performance venues was particularly dangerous for public health.”

The Council of State is an advisory body that has legal powers to overturn government decisions it considers unlawful.

The ruling, which the Council of State described as “provisional,” came after representatives of Belgian actors, performers and cinema operators had criticized the government’s decision, describing it as baseless, unfair and disproportionate.

After meeting Tuesday with those representatives, Health Minister Frank Vandenbroucke told state broadcaster RTBF that “there’s no possibility to immediately revise the (government’s) decision.”

Thousands of Belgian performers, cinema operators, event organizers and others rallied on Sunday in protest at the closure of the country’s cultural life to stem the spread of the surging omicron variant.

Events like Christmas markets are allowed to continue, despite their boisterous, and sometimes chaotic, mulled wine parties, while restaurants and bars are allowed to stay open with some new restrictions.

Follow AP’s pandemic coverage at https://apnews.com/hub/coronavirus-pandemic

© Copyright 2022 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


GlobalTalk
In a setback for the Belgian government, an advisory body on Tuesday suspended a Cabinet-ordered closure of the cultural sector - saying that new coronavirus restrictions imposed on cinemas and theaters are unreasonable.Under new restrictions that took effect Sunday, movie...
Virus Outbreak,Belgium
262
2021-01-28
Tuesday, 28 December 2021 02:01 PM
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