The State Council also rejected, on Friday, the request to reopen the snooker, billiards and bowling halls, according to two rulings on its website.
It appears that “the board is of the opinion that the petition is not serious.” The council notes that this already entails a temporary partial closure of lounges, only with regard to recreational use by the public. “Depending on the provisions of the Royal Order, indoor spaces may remain available for sports activities, sports competitions, sports camps or sports training,” the statement read.
The Belgian Sports Bowling Federation and the Belgian Billiards Snooker Federation both went to the Council of State last month against the decisions of the advisory committee on December 22. They found that there is “discrimination” as it pertains to competitive sports, while other sports are allowed to continue.
‘No disproportionate action’
But the defense of the Belgian state attorney, followed by the Council of State, shows that it is allowed to open snooker, billiards and bowling halls for sports activities, sports competitions, sports camps or sports training. “At first glance, the closing of interior spaces for recreational use by the public does not seem to constitute a disproportionate measure, on the one hand, in light of the broader set of measures taken in the royal decree, and on the other hand, in light of the grave epidemiological emergency in which the country is located” It came in both rulings.
“Violation of the principle of equality is not proven by simply referring to climbing gyms and indoor skating rinks. After all, at first glance, it appears that this is an entirely different sporting context in which the spread of the virus is less pronounced than the recreational use of bowling alleys,” says the State Council.
The cultural sector – which was allowed to reopen after a ruling by the state council – is said to be incomparable, because in the recreational use of the snooker and bowling alleys “people are constantly on the move, discussing and touching the same things”. .
Mark Buffay of the Bowling Sports Association noted earlier that many bowling centers are still closed, because sports training alone does not generate enough income.