Brussels' blanket face mask requirement will also apply to cyclists

Brussels' blanket face mask requirement will also apply to cyclists
© Belga

The generalised requirement to wear a face mask in all public places in Brussels if infections surge past a weekly alarm threshold would also apply to cyclists, a regional official said.

Insofar as a bike is used as a means for urban transport, the obligation to use a face mask would also apply to cyclists, Zeynep Balci, a spokesperson for Brussels Minister-President Rudi Vervoort told Bruzz.

The blanket measure would also apply everywhere in the territory of the Brussels-Capital Region, "without exception," Balci added.

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"Once the threshold is reached, the face mask requirement applies everywhere in public, without exception," she said. "So even if you walk alone in a park or forest."

Balci said that officials had granted some exceptions to the blanket face mask requirement, such as for construction workers, people exercising outdoors like joggers, high-level athletes or people who had a medical certificate to prove they could not wear one.

"We require people who cannot wear a face mask for health-related reasons to use a plastic visor," Balci said.

The clarifications come after a Regional Security Council (RSC) in which officials announced that the requirement would apply in the entire territory of the capital when and if a new-case alarm threshold was reached.

Vervoort said that the RSC, which gathered regional health officials as well as the 19 mayors of Brussels, had set the alarm threshold at 50 new cases per 100,000 inhabitants over a 7-day period.

On Thursday, Vervoort said that the average incidence rate for the region's 19 municipalities sat at 38 new cases/100,000 inhabitants, despite the fact that the individual incidence rate of three municipalities was well past that mark.

In Brussels, Sciensano's latest figures show that the municipalities of Saint-Gilles, Ganshoren and Saint-Josse have recorded the highest peaks of new coronavirus infections, registering, respectively, 70, 52 and 51 new weekly cases per 100,000 residents.

Gabriela Galindo

The Brussels Times

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