Measures without a legal basis: the court concedes corona rules in Belgium

Status: March 31, 2021 6:07 p.m.

Strict corona rules have been in place in Belgium for months. A court has now ruled: the restrictions are illegal. However, easing the situation is still not in sight.

From Helga Schmidt,
ARD studio Brussels

A Belgian court has declared the extensive corona restrictions in the country to be unlawful. The government has restricted civil liberties and human rights without the necessary legal basis, the Belgian public television RTBF quoted the responsible judge. The government now has 30 days to introduce a new law or to withdraw the measures.

Helga Schmidt

Helga Schmidt
ARD studio Brussels

The court ruling does not mean that the corona restrictions no longer apply. They remain in effect, but the government has a duty to initiate due process of legislation within 30 days. And that means: the Belgian Parliament must be involved. “The parliamentary debate needs to be put back into focus,” said the organization that sued the Belgian League for Human Rights. Even in a crisis situation, the rule of law should have priority.

Strict corona rules have been in place in Belgium for months. Close contacts are only allowed with one person outside of your own household; four people wearing masks can meet outdoors. Restaurants and cafes have been closed for several months and there is a night curfew across the country. Shopping is possible, but only by appointment.

Belgian court: Corona restrictions are not permitted in this way

Helga Schmidt, ARD Brussels, March 31, 2021 5:20 p.m.

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