Not 10 but 12 free train rides for everyone as the government launches "Tournée nationale"

The federal government has clinched a deal with the national rail company NMBS about free train rides to promote tourism within Belgium. Each citizen will be entitled to 12 free train rides (instead of 12) as part of a "Tournée nationale" campaign, but certain conditions will apply. 

Citizens will have to apply for the free card, and it will be a personal one, only to be used by yourself. Users will get two free rides per month, for a period of six months. 

The free rides will be available as from mid-August. This means that the period will cover four different school holidays: the summer holidays, the mid-autumn break, the Christmas vacation and the spring break. This is perfect to boost domestic tourism; the campaign has received the name "Tournée nationale" at present and wants to help a sector which has been hit hard by the corona crisis. 

The NMBS will not suffer any financial loss, as it will get extra cash from the government. The public transport company has also been hit hard by the corona crisis: many commuters are (still) working from home now, or they prefer the car to go to work. As a result, most trains are still very quiet, even during rush hour. This campaign should also boost the train as a sustainable means of transport.

In Belgium, it is obligatory to wear a mouth mask in stations and on trains, except for children, while in many other places this in only"strongly advised".  

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