Radio 2

Kortrijk bans ‘standing still’ in the bar street

The city of Kortrijk has introduced a bylaw banning people from standing still in the main student bar street in the city.  The West Flemish student town is eager to avoid scenes like those in the Ghent bar street Overpoortstraat recently when masses of students gathered and failed to observe social distancing.

The bar street affected is called the Burgemeester Reynaertstraat.  Local police will carry out more checks and people violating the ban will be fined.

Last week at the start of the academic year Ghent police were forced to close the Overpoortstraat because students were gathering in such large numbers and flouting social distancing rules so that it became unsafe. The Burgemeester Reynaertstraat in Kortrijk is noted for the large number of bars frequented by young people.  In future you will be allowed to sit in a bar or on its pavement café, walk about (with a face covering inside the bar), but not stand still in the street.

Local pub owners welcome the news of increased police patrols.  Emmanuel Lesaffre is landlord of the Café 56: “We’ve noticed many people gathering after closing time at 1 AM.  It’s a nuisance both for us and for law enforcers.  We try to comply with all the rules.  We’ve noticed youngsters aren’t too bothered about the rules and regs.  They say they won’t be fined.  We hope this measure will change this mentality.”

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