Additional day-trippers asked to stay away from Ostend

Saturday’s early taste of spring has meant that thousands of people have headed for the coast for a breath of sea air and a stroll along the prom. In normal times the local authorities, traders and residents in our coastal resorts would be delighted with the influx of day-trippers. 

However, these are not normal times and too many people in one place can pose risks to public health as we have been made all too aware since the coronavirus pandemic took hold in Belgium almost a year ago.

Such has been the influx of visitors to Ostend today (Saturday) that the West Flemish coastal city’s Mayor Bart Tommelein (liberal, photo below) issued an appeal to those that were thinking of going there to change their plans.

Meanwhile, the Head of the Ostend Local Police Service Philip Caestecker told VRT News that "The car parks are full, and it is busy. Deciding to all come to Ostend now is not a good idea”.

Mayor Tommelein told VRT News that “It is clearly busy in the shopping streets and on the front. It is managable, but no more people should come”.

Mr Tommelein is not pleased with the Belgian rail company NMBS’ decision to provide extra trains. He says that it is regrettable that this was done without having consulted the local authorities.

Measures have been taken to ensure that those that visit Ostend can enjoy their visit in safety. "We have 60 CCTV cameras monitoring the situation and the police have been deployed. We can’t really do any more. I can only call on people to avoid busy places. There will be issues if everyone wants to go to the centre of the city”, Mr Tommelein said.

 

Radio 2

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