From today, police will start checking whether cinemas, theatres and bowling alleys are closed as the stricter coronavirus measures came into force on Sunday during the Christmas weekend.
The venues already had to close on Sunday but dozens of theatres and cinemas – mainly in Brussels – refused to follow the rules and remained open.
“The Royal Decree appeared on Christmas Day, the additional guidelines even later,” Nico Paelinck, chairman of the Permanent Committee for Local Police told VRT on Monday.
“The normal way of proceeding is that the sector organises and raises awareness during the first weekend,” he said, adding that the inspection services then come into play the next day to organise themselves.
Paelinck explained that checks will be made to ensure that establishments are adhering to regulations; those failing to do so will be issued with a warning. Establishments that resist the measures will be closed.
On Sunday, the Brussels police did not check cinemas that refused to close. “We do not have time to check on cinemas. We already need to monitor the demonstration organised for Sunday by the culture sector at the Mont des Arts,” a spokesperson told the Belga News Agency.
From today, both cinema owners and those going to watch a film are at risk of being fined if they do not follow the regulations, according to the police. But there will not be any targeted checks.