Gilles Verstraeten on the closure of Brussels cafés: “The accountability of the Brussels government is crushing”

7 October 2020

The measure taken by the Brussels government to close the Brussels cafés and bars for a month could be the death knell for many hospitality businesses. That is what Brussels MP Gilles Verstraeten fears. “What makes me incredibly angry is that this situation could have been avoided if the Brussels government had acknowledged the seriousness of the situation and intervened sooner.”

As early as the summer, Gilles Verstraeten and the Brussels N-VA fraction were asking for more and accessible testing capacity, better enforcement against large gatherings, and better enforcement of and information about the basic measures. “We’ve been requesting this for months, precisely because we wanted to avoid serious interventions such as this being necessary later on in order to keep the situation under control.”

Crushing accountability of the Brussels government

Throughout the summer and into September, the Brussels government minimised the situation, delayed opening new test centres, remained absent as a driver of enforcement policy, and stated just a few days ago that the situation in hospitals was not alarming. “I find the accountability of the Brussels government crushing. This is deeply tragic for hospitality businesses that respect the measures and have been doing their utmost for months to keep afloat,” Gilles Verstraeten concludes.

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