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Hundreds of reports issued as police chase lockdown violators

Over a hundred police reports and fines have already been issued against people and businesses who failed to comply with the lockdown measures since their introduction under a week ago.

Last weekend, the Brussels North Police Zone drew up 120 reports concerning people who did not respect the ban on all gatherings, as well as five to businesses who violated opening restrictions.

The police zone, competent for the municipalities of Evere, Schaerbeek and Saint-Josse, also said on Facebook that six people were administratively detained for failing to comply with the restriction measures.

104 additional reports, as well as fines, were issued in Brussels 1000 and Ixelles, with the merged police zone saying they also concerned groups of people as well as businesses.

The reports will be forwarded to officials with the public ministry while the fines can be of up to €350 for adults or of €175 for minors.

“People still don’t have a clear idea of what they can and cannot do,” a spokesperson for the Brussels-Ixelles police zone told Le Soir, adding that the general rule was for people to still be allowed to “move around.”

“We don’t want people coming to lay down in the park,” she said. “So don’t come to have a picnic, don’t organise a football match.”

On Friday, the Brussels-Ixelles police zone said they would begin using drones to monitor parks and other green areas in the city, which would issue messages in three languages to remind citizens of the confinement and social distancing measures.

Police patrols also said they would more strictly monitor citizen movement and ask those spotted outside to provide a valid reason to be out, as well as check the number of persons in a single vehicle.

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Over the weekend, police also monitored the use of public transport by citizens, reporting that many were still using the network for non-essential trips.

With the transport offer reduced amid the lockdown measures, a rise in unnecessary trips risks undermining social-distancing measures inside transport vehicles.

Gabriela Galindo
The Brussels Times

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