Coronavirus: Antwerp cracks down on open restaurants
Monday, 16 March 2020
Credit: Creative Commons
Local Antwerp police had to call a series of shops, catering establishments and other commercial spaces over the weekend to ask them to comply with the recent closure measures imposed by the government to halt the spread of the new coronavirus.
Police even had to visit a dozen restaurants on several occasions. “It is incomprehensible that people are getting around the rules in this situation,” the police spokesman said.
Since Saturday, only shops selling food or other essential goods such as medicines have been allowed to open their doors over the weekend. Horeca establishments, on the other hand, have to close for the whole week.
These rules have apparently not been well understood by everyone. “In many cases, it was managers who didn’t know that they had to close, for example in laundries,” says Bruyns. “But there were also a lot of stubborn operators.”
No fines have been imposed so far, but they could be issued in the short term if necessary.
Across Belgium, many restaurants have had to adapt their traditional business method in response to exceptional measures taken to stem the spread of the new coronavirus, which imposed the closure of bars and restaurants until 3 April.
Takeaway orders and deliveries are possible, the offices of the ministers of Independents Denis Ducarme and Public Health Maggie De Block confirmed on Friday.