Court rules on Covid shutdown of cinemas & theaters after uproar — Analysis

Performers and venues were not happy with the closures that were implemented to limit the spread Omicron’s variant of Covid-19.

A court in Belgium has reversed the government’s closure of cinemas, theaters, and other entertainment venues. Previous restrictions, such as vaccine pass requirements, have also been struck down by the country’s courts.

Belgium’s Council of State, the country’s highest administrative court, made its decision on Tuesday, nearly a week after Prime Minister Alexander De Croo announced the closures. De Croo not only closed down entertainment venues but also prohibited fans from accessing sports stadiums. Also, he tightened the limits on shop capacity. Belgium wasn’t the only European nation to adopt similar regulations. It followed the lead of Denmark and the Netherlands.

Dozens detained amid protests over anti-Covid restrictions in Brussels (VIDEOS)

A union representing actors, cinema operators and performers appealed against the decision. The union accused the government of “contempt, discrimination and abuse,”On Sunday, thousands marched with their support in Brussels as entertainment workers marched. However, Health Minister Frank Vandenbroucke stated that they were unsuccessful. “there’s no possibility to immediately revise the decision.”

Tuesday’s verdict is not the first time Belgium’s courts have scuppered the government’s pandemic-related restrictions. Wallonia’s court ruled earlier this month that the requirement for a vaccine pass to be allowed into cafes, restaurants and gyms in Wallonia was illegal. The national government initiated the use of the vaccine pass, but each region is responsible for its enforcement.

Wallonia however appealed and stated that it would continue mandating vaccinations. 

Even though there have been massive protests on the streets against these Covid restrictions, recent polls found that over two-thirds of Belgians are in favor of denying certain public spaces to unvaccinated people.

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