Brussels has more coronavirus violations than Flanders, Wallonia
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Brussels has more coronavirus violations than Flanders, Wallonia

© BELGA/ NICOLAS MAETERLINCK

Brussels is leading the country in terms of the number of violations of coronavirus measures handed out by police since the start of the pandemic.

Figures show the capital region as having 44,221 recorded violations, or about 36.4 per 1,000 habitants of the city.

In the Luxembourg province it’s 20.9, making it second to Brussels, and in the province of Antwerp, that number is 16.2.

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The difference in violations seemed most prominent during the second wave of the coronavirus, which some think could have to do with the winter weather.

“It is not that we have given the order to take stricter action,” Jurgen De Landsheer, police chief of the South Police Zone, told De Standaard. “It may also have to do with lockdown parties. During the cold weather, people also meet more often inside than outside.”

Other potential explanations for the difference include urbanisation.

“Cities have more police personnel. And Brussels simply has fewer rural areas compared to the province of Antwerp,” MP Yngvild Ingels told De Staandard.

The curfew may also play a role.

“We most often see violations of not wearing or improperly wearing face masks, people who get together with too many other people, and violations against curfews,” said Ilse Van de Keere, spokeswoman for the Brussels Capital Ixelles police zone.

In eleven months of enforcement, Belgian police have reported 220,236 violations of Covid-19 measures. During the first wave, most of these were for not wearing a mask. Today, violations of the ban on gatherings are most common.

Helen Lyons
The Brussels Times

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