Beginning on February 18th, nightclubs in Belgium’s capital city of Brussels will reopen in defiance of COVID-19 restrictions.
The reopenings are part of a protest by venue owners across the country against what they feel is a lack of support from Belgian lawmakers. Due to the government’s ongoing COVID-19 restrictions, establishments have been forced to stay shut since the Fall of 2021.
Speaking with Belgian publication Bruzz, Lorenzo Serra of the Brussels By Night Foundation (BBNF) said, “We cooperated: first for two weeks, then for a few months, and finally we closed for two years, but enough is enough.”
Voicing his frustration over the financial hardships facing the nightlife industry due to the ongoing pandemic, Serra said that the industry has been “without perspective and with insufficient financial support since the brief reopening in the fall of 2021.” BBNF is an organization representing numerous nightclubs around Brussels.
On February 11th, the Consultation Committee, a legislative committee consisting of government officials, will meet to discuss a possible reopening date for nightclubs. Owners are willing to postpone their openings if a compromise can be reached.
Belgium is currently on the downward slope following a COVID-19 spike that peaked on January 27th with 68,285 new cases. As of February 9th, there are 22,333 new cases.