Federal Police couldn’t be clearer “A day, weekend or week’s holiday at the coast is not an essential journey”

The two-week Easter vacation has got under way and temperatures are expected to reach 20°C on Sunday. In normal times this weekend would see tens of thousands of people making their way to the coastal resorts of West Flanders or the tranquillity of the Ardennes for a day trip, a weekend or week’s or more holiday. 

However, we are not living in normal times and all non-essential journeys are banned under the measures designed to curb the spread of the novel coronavirus.

The Federal Police stress in a statement that day trips, weekends and other recreational trips to the coast and other holiday destinations in Belgium are not considered to be “essential journey”. Checks will be carried out along roads to the coast and the Ardennes. 

Sarah Frederickx of the Federal Police Service told VRT News that “We are not going to close the motorway and we are not going to turn every vehicle inside out looking for a pair of swimming trunks. However, everyone could potential be singled out for a check”. However, Ms Frederickx hopes that the police won’t have very much work. "I know that it isn’t nice, but we will just have to grin and bear it. It’s a lot less nice for the families that have been touched by the virus”. 

The fines for those caught making non-essential journeys are not light and those caught will be asked to pay up there and then. “We try and collect payment there and then for as many as possible of the fines we have issued”, Sarah Frederickx explained.