Former Justice minister broke Covid rules in 2021
Former Belgian Justice minister Vincent Van Quickenborne broke Covid-19 rules at a party in August 2021, Het Laatste Nieuws reports. Van Quickenborne, who was still in office at the time, apologised for what he called an error of judgement.
The breach took place at a party in a castle in Kortrijk on 21 August 2021, after the end of the Kamping Kitsch Club festival. The festival was allowed to go ahead without restrictions because the 18,000 partygoers could prove they had been vaccinated twice or had recently tested negative for Covid-19.
There were many more people at the party than the maximum of eight allowed inside at the time, according to Het Laatste Nieuws. Footage seen by the newspaper shows Van Quickenborne, still a minister at the time, chatting to about 15 people in a kitchen. There are also pictures of him on the dance floor.
'Not a lockdown party'
The day before the festival, Belgium's advisory committee had announced a significant easing of Covid restrictions, but the changes would not come into effect until 1 September.
Van Quickenborne, who resigned as Justice minister in October in the wake of the Brussels shooting that killed two Swedish football fans, described the event as an "outdoor party" in a garden by the festival organisers.
"This was not a lockdown party. In a garden, you could invite an unlimited number of people and meet without social distancing," he said. He said he "only later visited briefly to congratulate the festival organisers" and recalls that everyone was outside when he arrived.
"There may have been more than eight people inside at one point. At that point, I should have gone outside, and then I may have made an error of judgement," said Van Quickenborne.
"The fact that there was a full and unrestricted party at the festival, the fact that all the guests were double vaccinated and the fact that it had already been decided to lift all restrictions at home, led to a certain carelessness. It was not allowed. Sorry for that."
#FlandersNewsService | Vincent Van Quickenborne © BELGA PHOTO JASPER JACOBS