New coronavirus measures came into force in Brussels in October, as the capital region sought to adapt to nationwide relaxations while containing the rise of coronavirus cases across its municipalities.
Regional authorities decided to follow guidelines by the National Security Council for a blanket face mask mandate to be abolished from October, but the capital region's 19 mayors still have the power to tighten or impose new measures depending on the situation in their municipalities.
Here is an overview of the measures put in force in each municipality of the Brussels-Capital Region, which apply on top of regional or nationwide measures, such as the closing down of bars at 11:00 PM, the reduction of the quarantine period and having fewer social contacts.
[caption id="attachment_133932" align="alignnone" width="1024"] An overwhelming majority of the capital region's 19 mayors will uphold the mandatory use of face mask in certain public areas. © Belga[/caption]
Mayor of Anderlecht Fabrice Cumps ruled that a face mask would remain mandatory in the following areas of the municipality:
- Cureghem zone: On the Chaussée de Mons from Porte d'Anderlecht and up to but not including the Square Albert as well as on the site of the large Abattoire food market and on the adjacent Rue Ropsy Chaudron and Rue Jules Ruhl and the nearby Rue de la Clinique.
- Central Anderlecht zone: On Rue Wayez, Rue de la Résistance, Cours Saint-Guidon and around Place de la Vaillance and Place de la Résistance.
- Scheut zone: On the Chaussée de Ninove, between the Boulevard Prince de Liège and Place De Smet.
- La Roue zone: On Place Bizet.
Auderghem did not define specific streets or areas where the face mask mandate held but said in an online statement they would remain mandatory in:
- Commercial areas or areas in their vicinity during opening hours.
- Areas in the immediate surroundings of schools or daycares during opening hours
- Public playgrounds
- Food, antique, farmer's or flea markets and funfairs
- Public areas where the presence of crowds makes it impossible to for people to stand at least 1.5 metres apart from each other
Local authorities said that face masks will remain mandatory in public areas with high circulation for all residents above the age of 12, saying that offenders risked a fine of €250. The list of areas includes:
- Squares and streets such as Place Schweitzer, Place du Roi Baudouin, Le Parvis Sainte-Agathe and their surrounding streets, Avenue du Roi Albert and the Chaussée de Gand.
- On all public administration buildings, including the parking lots
- On parking lots of shopping or commercial centres and of sports centres
- Within 20 metres of schools or religious buildings such as in Rue de l'Eglise
- On playgrounds but not in parks
City of Brussels/Brussels 1000
Several areas in downtown Brussels still require residents to wear a face mask, such as the busy areas near the Bourse and in and around Boulevard Anspach.
The cabinet of Brussels Mayor Philippe Close has also drawn condemnation after banning prostitution, citing close physical contact as an aggravating risk factor for coronavirus infections.
Wearing a face mask will remain mandatory in all public administration buildings as well as in the following public areas for all residents over the age of 12:
- In the shopping areas in the La Chasse, Jourdan and Tongres neighbourhood
- In the terraces of establishments located in those areas except for customers sitting at a table
- Within 15 metres from the entrance to schools
Residents will also be required to always carry a face mask with them in order to use it when proper social distancing is not possible, with the mayor ruling that police could also carry checks on the population, with offenders risking a fine of up to €350.
Face masks are not required when doing sports or other physical activity nor for workers doing demanding physical work outdoors, while those who cannot wear a face mask due to medical reasons are required to wear a visor.
Face masks will remain mandatory in several streets in the small municipality: Chausse de louvain, Place Jean de Paduwa, Avenue Grosjean, Avenue Mommaerts, Avenue du Cimetière de Bruxelles, Avenue de Loisirs, Avenue des Olympiades, Avenue H. Conscience, Avenue Platon, Avenue Notre-Dame, Rue Kurth, Place de la Paix, Rue Struckens, Chaussée de Haecht, Rue de Paris, Rue Plaine d'Aviation and in the surroundings of the town hall square.
Acting Mayor Ridouane Chahid, who recently tested positive for the coronavirus, also upheld the facemask obligation in the parking lots of large shops and on food markets as well as within 20 metres of all schools.
[caption id="attachment_130833" align="alignnone" width="1020"] Mayors will also enforce a decision by regional leaders in Brussels for all bars to close down at 11:00 PM, instead of 1:00 AM. © Belga[/caption]
A spokesperson for the mayor's cabinet said that Forest would uphold the face mask mandate in the immediate vicinity of all schools, during food markets and in the following areas:
- Saint-Denis area: Chaussée de Bruxelles, Chaussée de Neerstale, Rue Jean Baptiste Vanpé.
- Place Altitude 100
- Avenue Wielemans Ceuppens
Ixelles will continue to enforce the use of face mask in busy areas as well as in the surroundings of schools during opening hours (from 7:00 AM to 7:00 PM), a member of the mayor's cabinet said.
Local authorities published a list of over a dozen of commercial or habitually busy streets, squares and avenues in which the face mask will remain mandatory at all times for all residents above the age of 12. (on page 3).
Jette Mayor Hervé Doyen confirmed that his municipality would follow the measures decided at a regional level and abolish the general use of face mask in public except for busy, commercial or school areas.
The use of a face mask remains mandatory also around schools, in the squares near metro stations and in the following places:
- Squares: Place de la Bastogne, Place Vanhuffel and Place Simonis
- Streets and Avenues: Rue Jean Jacquet, Rue de l’Eglise Sainte-Anne, Boulevard Léopold II, Avenue de l’Hôpital Français, Chaussée de Gand, Avenue du Karreveld.
The use of a face mask will remain mandatory in the Chaussée de Gand, Chaussée de Ninove and in Rue de Ribaucourt.
Face masks will be mandatory at all times, for all residents above the age of 12, in the following places:
- Upper Saint-Gilles: Chaussée de Charleroi, Rue Jourdan, Rue Stas, Rue Dejoncker, the areas between Place Louise and Place Stéphanie.
- Lower Saint-Gilles: Chaussée de Waterloo, Chaussée d’Alsemberg, Parvis de Saint-Gilles, Avenue Jean Volders.
Saint-Gilles has also made face masks mandatory near schools and has ruled that all citizens must carry one with them at all times.
Saint-Josse is the only municipality to choose to uphold strict measures, keeping the quarantine period at 14 days even as the federal authorities halved it.
As one of the hardest-hit parts of Brussels, Saint-Josse Mayor Emir Kir also ordered the closure of several public spaces such as the municipal swimming pool, sports halls and libraries.
Face masks will further remain mandatory in: Place François Bossuet, Place Saint-Josse, Place Houwaert, Place Rogier, Place Madou, Chaussée de Louvain, Chaussée de Haecht, Rue Verbist, Rue Willems, Rue du Méridien, Rue du Brabant and Rue du Progrès.
[caption id="attachment_126814" align="alignnone" width="1004"] An overwhelming majority of the 19 municipalities will also enforce the use of a face mask in the immediate vicinity of schools. © Belga[/caption]
The municipality ruled that face mask would remain mandatory on all indoor places such as shops, cinemas, cultural venues, libraries, museums or casinos, as well as in the vicinity of school and in a a list of over a dozen busy streets and squares published online.
A spokesperson for the mayor's cabinet said Uccle would follow the decision to slash the quarantine period down to 7 seven days and that make face masks mandatory within 50 metres of all schools and in the follow streets, from 7:00 AM to 8:00 PM:
- Rue Vanderkindere, Chaussée de Waterloo, Chaussée Alsemberg, Rue Xavier De Bue, Parvis Saint-Pierre, Rue du Doyenné, Rue du Postillon, Avenue Brugmann, Place Émile Danco, Place Jean Vander Elst, on the Dieweg, Avenue De Fré, Place de Saint-Job, Avenue Jean et Carsoel, Chaussée de Saint-Job, Chaussée de Neerstalle.
The municipality will uphold the face mask mandate in over a dozen streets and areas on its territory, a list of which it published online.
The obligation to wear a face mask will apply from Monday to Saturday from 8:00 AM to 6:00 PM for all residents above the age of 12.
The use of a face mask is also mandatory on Sundays during the market hours on Place Wiener and on Wednesday during the market on Place Keym, as well as inside and within 15 metres of all municipal buildings including schools.
In an ordonnance published online, the municipality upheld the mandatory use of face masks in the immediate vicinity of schools as well as in the following places: Avenue Georges Henri, Avenue du Roi Chevalier, Place Verheyleweghen, Chaussée de Roodebeek, Tomberg, Montagne des Cerisiers, Rue Saint-Lambert, Place Saint-Lambert, Rue Voot, Chaussée de Stockel.
In an online statement, the municipality said that face masks would remain mandatory in all places where social distancing could not be respected, in the Stockel, Sainte-Alix and Chant d'Oiseau markets, Rond-Point Montgomery, in Square de l'Europe, in the centre and within 50 metres of schools, at the beginning and at the end of the school day.
The municipality of Ganshoren did not reply to a request for comment and has not made public any updates related to the coronavirus measures applicable on its territory.
The Brussels Times