The partygoers couldn’t have made it any easier for the Rhode and Schelde Local Police Services. After all the party was taking place right under their noses and just a stone’s throw away from the police station on the Brusselsesteenweg. All but one of the 22 people at the party were a French nationals.
Police officers were carrying out checks on vehicles at the Melle junction of the R4 Ghent orbital motorway at around 1:30pm on Thursday night. In Flanders a curfew is in force from midnight until 5am and only those with a valid reason can be out and about between these hours.
One of the cars checked by the police had a driver and 4 passengers. They told the police officers that they were on their way to a party at a holiday house on the Brusselsesteenweg. At the house police found 15 people inside and a further 7 people in the garden. The house is a large villa with 7 bedrooms a swimming pond and a jacuzzi. The East Flemish Judicial authorities say that laughing gas was also found at the house.
Parties and other such gatherings are banned under the rules designed to curb the spread of the novel coronavirus. Airbnb, through which the organiser of the party had let the house, also states clearly in its terms and conditions that parties are banned. The person that let the house and organised the party has been issued with a summons to appear before the Police Court on 27 January. All others present at the party have been issued with 750-euro fines.