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    Coronavirus: nearly 2,700 fines in Brussels this month

    Brussels police have written out nearly 2,700 fines since 1 April. Credit: Belga

    The Brussels Capital – Ixelles police zone has recorded 4,299 offences against lockdown rules and has written up 2,694 fines and some 1,605 reports since the beginning of the month, said Brussels Mayor Philippe Close on Monday.

    New regulations in place in Brussels since 1 April include a rule that anyone in a public space will be fined for failure to comply with orders and requests from the police or other sworn officials. This provision was added specifically for citizens who refuse to respect the lockdown rules, Close told the municipal council while discussing the impact of the new coronavirus (Covid-19) on the Brussels commune.

    Police can now impose a sanction on anyone who fails to comply with federal measures, Close said, whereas they could previously only fine people who refused to comply with police orders.

    The measures include a ban on non-essential journeys and all gatherings. Anyone who can work from home must do so and, if teleworking is not possible, social distancing rules must be respected. The measures are in place until at least 3 May, though a ban on mass events, such as summer festivals, will last until at least 31 August.

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    As the lockdown continues, more people are breaking confinement rules, the country’s prosecutors have noted – particularly the regulations against non-essential journeys and gatherings. Last week, Belgian justice officials predicted that the sum of the fines handed out would reach €1 million this week.

    Jason Spinks
    The Brussels Times