Brussels will not impose own curfew after federal abolition, says Vervoort
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Brussels will not impose own curfew after federal abolition, says Vervoort

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The Brussels-Capital Region will not maintain a curfew after 8 May, when the federal government will lift the measure across Belgium, according to Brussels Minister-President Rudi Vervoort.

Once the federal government lifts the curfew – as announced by the Consultative Committee on 14 April – from 8 May, it cannot be reinstated regionally, Vervoort said in the Brussels Parliament’s Home Affairs Committee on Tuesday.

“We remain within the logic of the federal handling of the crisis,” he added. “There is no alternative to the curfew being suspended, and once the federal level lifts it, it cannot be maintained or reintroduced at another level.”

The starting time of the ban on gatherings for more than three people that will take effect on 8 May to replace the curfew when the terraces reopen, is something to should be discussed soon, according to Vervoort.

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The terraces will be allowed to stay open between 8:00 AM and 10:00 PM from then on, the Consultative Committee announced last Friday, but the ban on gatherings will only be in force between midnight and 5:00 AM at the federal level.

That hour could be brought forward, to better align with the closing time of the terraces, suggested Vervoort, who added that the police are also in favour of such an adjustment.

Additionally, he stressed that bringing that starting time forward would be a question of management, not of restricting people’s freedom.

On Wednesday, Vervoort will meet with the 19 Brussels mayors and the heads of the different police zones for a Regional Security Council to discuss the possibility, and to analyse the impact of the Consultative Committee’s decisions on Brussels.

Currently, the curfew is in force from midnight to 5:00 AM in Flanders and Wallonia, and between 10:00 PM and 6:00 AM across the Brussels-Capital Region.

Maïthé Chini
The Brussels Times