Loading video player ...

Decision to close cultural venues was “not the best decision we could have taken”

Speaking in an interview with VRT Radio 1’s morning news and current affairs programme ‘De ochtend’, the Flemish Culture Minister Jan Jambon (nationalist, photo above) has admitted for the first time that the decision to oblige cultural venues such as theatres and cinemas to close “wasn’t the very best decision” that could have been taken. In December the Consultaive Committee that is made up of representatives of Belgium’s federal, regional and language community governments decided that cultural venues should be forced to close as a measure to curb the spread of coronavirus. 

The cultural sector took the decision to the Council of State and the decision was revoked. Currently indoor cultural activities are permitted providing face coverings are worn, the audience remains seated and no more than 200 people are present.

Speaking on Tuesday morning, Mr Jambon told ‘De ochtend’ that “As Prime Minister (Mr Jambon is the Prime Minister in the Flemish Government as well as being Culture Minister) I have to look at the whole picture. But everyone realises that the closure of the culture sector was a difficult decision. Wherever you draw the line there will always be people that are left out. With hindsight, if the Council of State revokes a decision you can only humbly concede that it wasn’t the very best decision you could have taken”

Mr Jambon went on to say that at the next meeting of the Consultative Committee that will take place this Friday he hopes to scrap a number of anomalies in the corona measures relating to the cultural and events sectors.

For example, the ban on rehearsals for those involved in amateur theatre or music companies. Although they are not currently allowed to rehearse, they are allowed to perform for up to 200. The limitation of the number of spectators at indoor cultural events to 200 regardless of the size of the venue is another area that needs to be looked at as does the fact that 200 people are allowed to watch indoor cultural events, but no spectators at all are allowed to watch sporting events be they indoor or outdoor. 

Top stories