Ghent student bar street calmer after Monday night’s excesses

The people of Ghent are heaving a big sigh of relief after far fewer students gathered in the Overpoortstraat bar street area last night.  Large numbers of students embarking on a new year at university and failing to observe social distancing caused great concern on Monday night.

Mayor of Ghent Matthias De Clercq has now imposed a limit on the number of students being admitted to the bar street at one time: 1,750.

The Overpoortstraat is the beating heart of Ghent students’ night life.  Despite numerous warnings large numbers gathered on Monday night at the start of the new university year.  Many failed to distance or wear a face covering. At one point on Monday night the decision was taken to close the street.

Eva Houpels of Ghent police: “We’re not only issuing warnings.  We give one warning.  If no heed is taken, we draw up a police report.  Depending on the violation fines can be hefty: 250 euros for failing to wear a face covering.”

Pavement cafes have now been clearly separated from the rest of the street allowing assured access for the emergency services.

Eva Houpels: “In this way students can walk along the street without the pavement cafes being overwhelmed.”

Our video shows the situation on Monday.

Loading video player ...

Top stories