Coronavirus: transport companies report rise in non-essential trips
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    Coronavirus: transport companies report rise in non-essential trips

    A police officer carries out a check on a vehicle. © Belga

    At least two transport companies in Belgium have reported a rise in the number of non-essential trips in recent days despite the continued enforcement of the coronavirus lockdown.

    A spokesman for road assistance company Touring said that the lockdown measures dictating that people travel strictly for essential reasons had resulted in a drop in activity of about 40%.

    “But in the last four to five days, we have seen an increase in the number of interventions,” spokesman Danny Smagghe said, according to La Libre, with the recent spike in activity suggesting a rise in “unnecessary trips.”

    In Brussels, public transport company STIB has said that it will increase the number of checks done on its network amid a similar rise in usage.

    “We have noticed that more people are using public transport for non-essential journeys,” STIB said in a statement, reports Bruzz.

    In a Tweet ahead of the weekend, the company update its timetable to increase the frequency on some of the busiest lines, in order to facilitate social-distancing among users.

    “We want to ensure users who have no choice but to use public transport can do so in a safe way, it is imperative that everyone adheres to social distancing measures.”

    In a statement on their website, STIB also said that frequency on lines serving hospitals or health centres would be increased from Tuesday.

    Last week, STIB posed social-distancing stickers on its vehicles in order to guide users on how best to respect the measures, imposed to limit the spread of the new coronavirus (Covid-19).

    Belgium’s National Security Council is set to meet on Wednesday to review the measures, which have been in place since mid-March and are currently set to run until 19 April.

    Gabriela Galindo
    The Brussels Times