Brussels scraps face mask obligation for cyclists and scooter users

Brussels scraps face mask obligation for cyclists and scooter users
Credit: Belga

The general face mask requirement in the Brussels-Captial Region no longer applies to cyclists and scooter users if they are able to maintain sufficient social distance, as Brussels Minister-President Rudi Vervoort updated the rules.

Cyclists and scooter users in Brussels are still required to have a face mask with them at all times, but wearing it is not necessary if the social distance can be respected, Vervoort announced in a press release on Friday evening.

"If you stop at a red light in the immediate vicinity of pedestrians and other cyclists, if you cross a traffic-free zone or come to the conclusion that you cannot keep a safe distance from others, you must put on a face mask," Vervoort said.

The general face mask requirement went into force across the entire Brussels-Capital Region, including parks and forests, on Wednesday. Wearing a mask is not mandatory during intensive sports, but people cycling to work, for example, did have to wear one.

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This led to criticism from cyclist unions, who feared that many cyclists would switch to other means of transport, and asked for a relaxation.

Pedestrians do have to wear a mask. "Movements on foot are not considered a sport and therefore require that one wears a face mask. Walking for sports and jogging are considered sports. However, the physical distance must be maintained at all times."

To clarify the general face mask measure that has been in force since Wednesday, he also published a list of Frequently Asked Questions (in Dutch and in French). It shows that eating and drinking in public spaces and parks are still allowed, "provided it is done without being in motion." The same rule applies to smoking.

Anyone who does not respect the rules risks a fine of €250.

Maïthé Chini

The Brussels Times

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