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    Police to step up enforcement of coronavirus measures

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    Local police will step up their enforcement of measures against the spread of the new coronavirus (Covid-19), the president of the Permanent Commission of the Local Police, Nicholas Paelinck, said on Friday.

    People who do not comply with the rules will receive tickets on the spot, while the police will run random checks on businesses in the hospitality sector that have previously violated the measures, Paelinck said.

    On Thursday, the National Security Council decided that face masks will be compulsory in shopping streets, public buildings, markets, flea markets, fairs and any other high-traffic locations, with effect from Saturday.

    The police will therefore step up their enforcement activities. “We’re going to shift from prevention and awareness-building to a purely repressive attitude,” Paelinck said. “We’ll have the support of the federal police.”

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    He added that the local police had a reserve of officers and had also cut back on holidays for members of the force.

    Masks will be compulsory in all hospitality businesses, except for patrons having their meals, in addition to the already existing requirements: social distancing and compulsory masks for staff.

    “Everything was going well in the beginning. We gave (restaurant owners) time to adapt,” Paelinck said. “Now we note that some tables have been moved closer and staff do not always wear their masks. We know who the bad eggs are and we shall do targeted checks on their establishments.”

    Anyone caught flouting the health measures risks a fine of €250, while managers will be fined €750.

    The police will also keep a closer watch on gatherings in public places after the curfew imposed in the hospitality sector.

    The Brussels Times