How did TWERES come into existence ?
TWERES originated in May 2020 from a group of second-residents who found each other through social media. Together they protested against the prohibition to spend the lock-down in a second residence as owner-occupier. Contrary to the rules that applied in our neighbouring countries, the Belgian government decided that second-residents, even if they were in their second residence when the measures came into force, had to move to their official domicile. Moreover, this measure was maintained in a disproportionate manner. Second-residents suddenly became hunted wild. Governors called on the local population to rat out hidden second-residents, some permanent residents published on social media in which apartment buildings were still “moles”, mayors ordered the local police to carry out home visits, police officers checked the identity cards at the entrance of supermarkets and even drones were used to search for human presence in campsites and holiday parks with thermal cameras.
At the end of January 2021, in the context of the corona crisis, the Belgian government issued a ban on leaving the country except for an essential journey. TWERES, with the financial support of some sixty members, tried to obtain the annulment of this travel ban through the Council of State. However, the Council refused to consider this request due to “lack of urgency”. TWERES then launched a petition to add necessary trips by owners to their homes abroad to carry out urgent maintenance or repair work to the list of essential trips. Eventually, the travel ban was lifted in April 2021.