Impossible to check if someone is only seeing 4 people, police say
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    Impossible to check if someone is only seeing 4 people, police say

    Credit: Belga

    It will not be possible to check if someone is only seeing four people, according to the police.

    While Federal Interior Minister Pieter De Crem said that the National Security Council’s decision to allow people to receive up to four guests in their home from Sunday 10 May is “not uncheckable,” the police unions disagree.

    “It is impossible to check everything. We are certainly not going to look inside people’s homes, or peek over their hedge,” said Vincent Houssin of police union VSOA/SLFP on Radio 1 on Thursday. “However, possible complaints about private parties with more people, for example, we will of course investigate,” he added.

    Several experts and politicians said that the government is counting on people’s common sense and sense of responsibility to keep respecting the measures, with virologist Marc Van Ranst saying that they are “a little bit scared” to relax this measure.

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    Some police zones will enforce the rules stricter than others, according to Houssin. “In border zones, we deploy a lot of police capacity for border checks, and we also continue to check companies and major traffic axes. We need a lot of our people for that. Trips to the coast also remain forbidden, which we also have to continue to keep an eye on,” Houssin said.

    Additionally, police checks for non-essential journeys will also be reduced. As no distance limit has been imposed on how far you can travel to visit a loved one, it will become almost impossible to verify if someone is visiting one of the four people they are allowed to see.

    It remains to be seen to what extent the reopening of stores, from Monday 11 May, will cause problems, Houssin said. “Will we get the same conditions as in the early stages, when people started hoarding toilet paper in supermarkets? Police will be needed to keep things on track,” he said, adding that he trusts people’s common sense “for 99%.”

    Maïthé Chini
    The Brussels Times