Face mask now obligatory in all of Brussels

The wearing of a face mask in public is now legally compulsory in all of the Brussels-Capital region, after the number of confirmed infections over the past seven days passed the threshold of 50 cases per 100,000 inhabitants.

A mask must now be worn covering mouth and nose in any public place, or a private place accessible to the public such as a shop, by anyone over the age of 12 in the entire territory of the Brussels-Capital region.

Exceptions are permitted when taking part in strenuous physical activity such as work or sport. And persons who cannot wear a mask for valid medical reasons may instead wear a plastic facial screen.

Police in the 19 communes of the capital have been instructed to implement the new measure, although there was no sign in recent days that the measure was being applied when individual communes passed the 50 cases threshold. That has been the case since last weekend for communes Saint-Josse, Saint-Gilles, Anderlecht and Schaerbeek.

The regional government, however, ignores the situation at a municipal level, where Saint-Josse has an incidence of 58 and Saint-Gilles of 54, preferring instead to count in the commune of Watermael-Boitsfort at less than 20.

By juggling the figures commune by commune, the regional government was able to ignore the fact that the incidence for the 19 communes in the period from 2 to 8 August inclusive reached 54.4 per 100,000 inhabitants – above the threshold where measures need to be taken.

Alan Hope
The Brussels Times

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