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Brussels bans public drinking in city centre

Credit: Tram Bruxelles/Wikipedia

Drinking alcohol on the streets is now banned in a large section of the Brussels city centre, according to new rules which came into effect on Monday.

The rule – which comes after complaints from local residents – means that it is now forbidden to drink alcohol in many public spaces for the next year. This follows on from a ban on drinking in the pedestrian zone between midnight and 6:00 AM from February, which saw offenders face a fine of EUR 350.

However in June Bruzz reported that despite having been in force since February, not a single fine had been imposed. The reason given was that the arrival of the coronavirus had made enforcing the drinking ban a low priority.

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While this measure aimed to dispel the nuisance caused by drinking in the area, reports have instead said it merely displaced it to other sections of the city centre, hence the new ban.

Under the new measures, drinking will be banned day and night across a large section of the city centre, including the Vismarkt neighbourhood which had been one of the worst-hit areas after the initial ban, Bruzz reports.

According to information in the press, the ban will stretch across a roughly square area bordered by the canal, Dansaert, Rogier and Rue Neuve. This would include Sainte-Catherine and Alhambra, popular neighbourhoods for outdoor drinking.

Grand Place, however, will not be included. Buying alcohol in shops, and drinking on terraces will also still be allowed.

The Brussels Times