All car parks along the Flemish parts of the Sonian Forest have been closed because of the new coronavirus (Covid-19), but the Brussels parks will remain open to the public for the time being.
The car parks at the Red Cloister in the Brussels municipality of Auderghem, and the Hippodrome in the Watermael-Boitsfort municipality, which both lead into the Sonian Forest, will remain open to the public this weekend. However, all car parks in the Flemish part of the Sonian Forest are closed.
Taking the car for non-essential journeys is not allowed, said Sébastien Verbeke, chief of the Druivenstreek police zone, to VRT. "Last weekend we found out that the Sonian Forest is a popular place to go, but taking your car to get there is not allowed," he said. The Flemish Nature and Forest Agency also stressed on its website that taking the car to go for a walk is not allowed.
- Coronavirus: Belgians consume up to 25% less electricity
- Coronavirus: Belgium reaches 26,667 confirmed cases
- Coronavirus: Brussels mayors now recommend masks in public
The car parks on the Flemish roads leading to the forest are closed to the public, but as the Brussels government has not yet issued any additional guidelines, the car parks on that side will remain open for now.
"The car parks in Brussels are not closed yet, but the local police zones of Auderghem, Boitsfort and Uccle will check whether people taking a walk are allowed to be there," said Stéphane Vanwijnsberghe, who is responsible for the Forêt de Soignes, to Bruzz.
"The federal government asked people to go for a walk in their own neighbourhood, so people from other cities are not supposed to come to the forest by car," he added. Extra attention will also be paid to ensuring that people abide by the social distancing rules, Vanwijnsberghe said.
"Over the past few weekends, we have seen more people than usual, including people who do not know the forest. Therefore, we expressly ask that all dogs are kept on a leash and that people do not deviate from the paths," he said. "We certainly recognise the need to get outside, but with respect for the forest," Vanwijnsberghe added.
The Brussels Times