City Park in Leuven
Foto: Francis Engelen

Police move against crowds in Leuven and Ghent

Police in Leuven cleared the city’s main park yesterday evening and the same also happened to the St Peter’s Square in Ghent.  At both spots large crowds had gathered and social distancing was not possible.

As a result of the fine weather parks and squares across Leuven and Ghent, northern Belgium’s two largest university towns, had been packed all day.

A student in Leuven told VRT: “We thought we’d chill in the city park (see video below), but when we arrived, we noticed we were not alone.  We took a conscious decision not to sit in the mass of the crowd, but found a place apart where the four of us sat as you are supposed to do.  A lot of people were sitting too close and without mask.”

Around 6PM the Leuven mayor took the decision to clear the park.

In Ghent the police cordoned off access streets to the St Peter’s Square after a thousand people gathered and started dancing too close together.  As soon as police arrived on the square itself most of the crowd scattered. Last week Ghent police issued thirty charge sheets in connection with gatherings of more than 4 people.

In Brussels and Antwerp too large crowds gathered, but here police were not obliged to close any parks. In Brussels police kept a close eye on the situation in the Ter Kameren Wood. In Antwerp it was busy along the quayside.

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