Over 1,500 reports were written up in Brussels for people who weren’t wearing a face mask in the last two months, Brussels Mayor Philippe Close said on Monday evening.
“Following the deconfinement and repeal of the Royal Decree of special powers on 1 July last, we have issued a fine on the basis of the legal procedure,” said Close.
“1,537 judicial penalty notices have been issued for failure to wear a mask in Brussels,” he said, questioned by local councillors David Weytsman and Bianca Debaets.
According to Close, 1,312 of these reports were issued in the centre, 197 in Laeken, and 28 in Neder-Over-Heembeek.
For each change in legislation and as soon as the mask was compulsory, a period of several days was first devoted to an awareness campaign aimed at the population.
This awareness raising was carried out through directed patrols and verbal communication to remind people of the norm (without a report being written up). The police also used its own social networks to inform citizens, the mayor said.
At the beginning of the health crisis, acting on the basis of the Royal Decree of 6 April, the police zone of Brussels-Ixelles drafted municipal administrative sanctions (SAC) or judicial reports in strict compliance with the circular of the College of Public Prosecutors General.
Before 30 June, a period during which wearing a mask was not compulsory, the vast majority of the SAC penalty notices were issued for refusal of an injunction (a court order not to do something), a travel ban and a ban on assembly. Only 36 penalty notices were issued for failure to wear masks on public transport, where wearing a mask was already mandatory.
The Brussels Times