Brussels gets tough on those failing to wear face masks

From this weekend the authorities in a number of cities, including Brussels, will start clamping down on those that flout rules obliging them to wear masks covering their mouths and noses in busy streets. This is the case in municipalities along the West Flemish coast, in Bruges (West Flanders) and in the City of Brussels where Mayor Philippe Close (Francophone socialist) announced yesterday that the period of grace for those failing to comply with the rules is now over. 

Since yesterday those failing to wear masks covering their nose and mouth on numerous streets in Brussels City Centre as well as shopping streets such as on and around the Louizalaan in uptown Brussels and De Wandstraat and Maria Christinastraat in the Laken district will be issued with fines.

In the East Flemish city of Ghent too the local authority says that from now on fines will be issued. However, they add that since the measures were introduced just a very small percentage of people have been failing to comply. Figures on the number of fines issued over the weekend in Ghent and Brussels will be available on Monday.

Meanwhile, in Bruges (West Flanders) most of those caught without masks are foreign tourists. There the police talk to them to explain the situation rather than issuing fines straight away. Only those that are unrepentant are fined.  In Leuven (Flemish Brabant) only a small minority of those caught not wearing a mask are actually fined.


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