“No worries Blankenberge will become a second Antwerp”

Strict new measures have been imposed on life in the City of Antwerp to stem the spread of coronavirus, but during the summer you’ll find many Antwerpians in the seaside resort of Bankenberge instead of at home.  If an Antwerpian heads for the Flemish coast, he or she is most likely to end up here.  Is there a danger Blankenberge too could be hit by a coronavirus spike?  VRT News quizzed Antwerpians in Blankenberge for their views.

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”.


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