Large indoor events should be able to take place in Belgium this September, provided residents are “motivated” to get vaccinated, according to prime minister Alexander De Croo.
Belgium’s vaccination campaign has been relatively successful so far, with almost 70% of the total population having received one jab and more than 50% receiving two doses, according to Our World in Data.
“It remains a bit uncertain, but if you look at how fast our vaccination rollout is going, then by the beginning of September, those who should be fully vaccinated will be and so far, there is no reason to believe that the protection would not be good, so in autumn, those kinds of concerts and events where you are standing close to other people should be possible,” De Croo told Studio Brussels.
The statement follows the announcement that Pukkelpop – the last remaining major international music festival in Belgium following the cancellation last month of Tomorrowland – will not take place again this year.
“Multi-day festivals are more difficult, especially if you have a young audience [who] have not yet been fully vaccinated”
The cancellation was a result of new government regulations that would have required the festival to almost triple its on-site testing capacity with less than a month to go until gates open.
“Multi-day festivals are more difficult, especially if you have a young audience. Many 16-year-olds, for example, have not yet been fully vaccinated,” De Croo said.
The full reopening of Belgium’s live music sector will be facilitated by the Covid Safe Ticket (CTS), which was announced last week.
The domestic health pass, which will certify the Covid-19 status of attendees to major entertainment and sports events, will apply to outdoor events from 13 August and indoor events from 1 September.
The CTS eliminates the need for social distancing, promoters must implement a crowd management plan, as well as ensuring adequate ventilation (in the case of indoor shows) which is measured by a CO2 meter, according to the Belgian government.
Get more stories like this in your inbox by signing up for IQ Index, IQ’s free email digest of essential live music industry news.