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Nicolas Maeterlinck

Police to give mouth mask offenders fines on the spot

Police will stage stricter checks (and give fines on the spot) if you are not wearing a face mask where this is mandatory. A fine will set you back 250 euros. 

Mouth coverings will also be mandatory in many places outdoor, such as shopping streets, markets, fairs or other busy places (and some towns and municipalities are taking it one step further, introducing a general obligation). 

When you go to a pub or restaurant, you should also wear one whenever you leave your place. The obligation to wear one was maintained for public transport, cinemas and theatre rooms (among others). 

Whereas police usually gave people a warning until now, they will switch tactics and impose a fine on the spot. "The sacrifice is too big for people who do follow the rules", they argue. 

The extra checks will mean a lot of extra work, but Nico Paelinck, the president of the Local Police Commission, says efforts have been coordinated to cope with that.

Police will stage checks both on foot and by bicycle. "The time of warnings and awareness interventions is over. We saw that not everyone was following the rules." 

It is not only about face coverings: more checks can be expected for night shops and social distancing as well. 

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