Ann Fransen and her son Vincent live in the heart of Antwerp, but during the summer months they head for Blankenberge to work at Het Witte Paard Hotels & Events. It means they are active both in the hotel and events sectors.
Ann and Vincent don’t think the presence of so many Antwerpians in Blankenberge will mean that the resort becomes a second Antwerp: “Here at the seaside there are far greater checks. It’s so noticeable. In Antwerp there’s a far more relaxed approach. Here police patrol day and night. In the shopping streets people will tell you to walk in the right direction, if you’re heading the wrong way or if you’re not wearing a face covering. Of course it is far more manageable here than in a great city like Antwerp”.
Ann says people are clearly afraid to come on holiday. There are fewer customers. The stricter checks in Antwerp now are a good idea: “Here in Blankenberge they’ve shown they work! Tourists weren’t allowed to come here during the lockdown and infection numbers are lower. They urgently needed to act in Antwerp. Otherwise they will never get rid of the virus”.