Belgian Clubs Reopening February 18 – With or Without Government Permission

Illustration picture shows flowers and an 'In Memorian' sign for the Belgian Clubscene at the entrance to Brussels' night club The Fuse during A symbolic moment of remembrance of the nightclubs one year after the closure, in Brussels, Saturday 13 March 2021. Twenty-five nightclub and discotheque owners from Flanders and …
NICOLAS MAETERLINCK/BELGA MAG/AFP via Getty Images

Clubs in Belgium have announced that they will be finally reopening their doors to customers on February 18, whether the country’s government permits them to do so or not.

Nightclubs across Belgium will soon be opening up to customers again on February 18, regardless of whether the nation’s government officially grants businesses permission to do so.

Clubs in the country have reportedly been suffering greatly from on-and-off closures, with the sector most recently having been forced to shut entirely in November.

However, according to a report by Le Soir, those in the sector are putting their foot down, and will be finally reopening after months of closure next weekend, irrespective of almost all government decisions.

“…having remained too long without perspective or sufficient financial aid, the Flemish, Walloon and Brussels clubs are taking the joint initiative to reopen in the form of a festive event,” the publication reports a press release as reading.

One spokesman for the group, Lorenzo Serra, also mentioned how businesses in the sector simply could not remain closed any longer.

“Entrepreneurs in our industry can’t take any more. Many are about to sell everything,” Serra said, according to a Brussels Times report.

“We cooperated: first for two weeks, then for a few months and finally we closed for two years, but enough is enough,” he is also reported as saying.

“The government-imposed barometer [for determining the severity of lockdown measures] appears to be nothing but an outdated tool for imposing a permanent closure,” Serra also noted.

Nightclubs in the Netherlands are also planning a similar measure for February 12, with many venues reportedly already selling out for the opening, with 15,000 tickets having reportedly been sold for establishments in Amsterdam alone, according to a report by Algemeen Dagblad.

“With this action we want to show ourselves how we can open safely again,” a spokesman for the Dutch movement stated. “We can do that much more safely [than informal parties] with security guards, bar staff and a good ventilation system.”

Clubs in Ireland, England and Denmark meanwhile are already up and running, with all three nations substantially relaxing lockdown measures since the beginning of the year.

This is despite Ireland, in particular, having traditionally been extremely strict in regards to its lockdown measures, with its old regime of vaccine passes having previously banned those without proof of vaccination or recovery from accessing indoor services in bars and restaurants.

Establishments in Belgium now want rules relaxed enough so that they can reopen again, with organisers of the forthcoming protest opening reportedly saying that they would be willing to postpone the action for a few days, should the government give concrete ideas on when a legal reopening could happen.

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