Public transport will strictly enforce face masks from 4 May
Share article:
Share article:

Public transport will strictly enforce face masks from 4 May

Credit: Belga

The Belgian public transport companies De Lijn, STIB and SNCB will strictly enforce the wearing of face masks from 4 May, despite the possible shortage as the authorities cannot provide them in time.

The wearing of face masks will become mandatory in all situations where the 1.5 metres social distance cannot be maintained, such as on public transport and on stations, from 4 May.

To make sure everyone complies with this measure, the National Security Council on Friday announced that the government would ensure that every citizen would be given “at least one standard fabric face mask, free of charge, that completely covers the mouth and nose” as well as two filters to put in the masks.

However, Federal Justice Minister Koen Geens, who is responsible for providing everyone with a mask, said that “it is not possible, in this short term, to roll out a national production, which provides enough masks for everyone.”

“It is the government that imposed the obligation to wear a face mask as of 4 May, so we assume that, as of 4 May, everyone who takes public transport, and in this case the train, will also have a face mask,” Bart Crols, spokesperson for the SNCB, told The Brussels Times.

Related News:

 

“However, this does not have to be an actual mask, but can also be other means that cover and protect the nose and throat, such as a scarf,” he said, adding that the most important thing was to protect yourself and respect others.

STIB also pointed to the use of scarves or bandanas while waiting for the government-provided face masks. “How this will be checked will be fine-tuned in the coming days, but we are prepared to help the government enforce compliance with this obligation, just as we do with social distancing,” An Van Hamme, a STIB spokesperson, told The Brussels Times, referring to checks being carried out by STIB security services together with police forces.

Bus company De Lijn also points to scarves or bandanas for people who do not have a face mask (yet). “In the first phase, our inspectors will mainly raise awareness and provide information, and we will see whether we can allow them to play a sanitation role at a later stage,” spokesperson Karen Van Der Sype told The Brussels Times.

“However, if a driver is confronted with a traveller who really does not want to cover their nose and mouth, they can ask for police assistance through the dispatching,” Van Der Sype said. “Covering nose and mouth is mandatory for all travellers aged 12 years and older, and we will strictly enforce that,” she added.

Maïthé Chini
The Brussels Times

Latest news

Coronavirus: Average infections up by more than 50% from last week
Between 11 and 17 October, an average of 3,249 people were infected with Covid-19 every day in Belgium, according to figures from the Sciensano ...
Why Belgium is regulating sex work
After decades of confusing rules and hypocritical policy, Belgium is finally regulating sex work by removing prostitution from the criminal law. ...
Up to 100 km/h winds expected across Belgium on Wednesday night
Gusts of up to 100 km/h are expected across Belgium on Wednesday night, according to the Royal Meteorological Institute (RMI), which has issued a ...
Cycling traffic officially added to VRT’s traffic bulletin
Usually a list of updates for drivers on busy roads, traffic bulletins will now include the latest travel news for cyclists in Belgium, VRT announced ...
MEPs call for European strategy to protect workers from asbestos
Members of the European Parliament are calling on the Commission to create a strategy for removing all abestos from buildings in order to reduce the ...
Mandatory vaccine for carers: employers call for sanctions
In a notice submitted by the National Council for Work (CNT), employers have called for heavy penalties for healthcare workers who refuse to receive ...
Police pension protest blocks several Brussels crossroads
On Wednesday, around 350 police officers expressed their dissatisfaction about the unclear pension scheme, low salaries and politicised police unions ...
Belgium in Brief: A Consultative Committee Sequel
Sequels often have a lot to live up to and when it comes to movie franchises, it gets difficult to keep up the hype once you get towards the final ...
Windy weather forecast should lower gas prices
After weeks of relatively calm conditions, a return to windy weather should lower Europe's soaring energy prices. Wind turbines in the UK and Germany ...
EC calls on candidate countries to focus on fundamental reforms before they can join the EU
The European Commission adopted yesterday its 2021 Enlargement Package, providing a detailed assessment of the state of play and the progress made by ...
Cigarette-eating robot patrols Ghent streets to fight littering
A litter fighting (and eating) robot will be patrolling the streets of Ghent in the coming weeks in an effort to raise awareness of the growing ...
Display of child’s room in Brussels raises awareness of foster families
An exhibit that features a fictitious child’s bedroom has been on display since Tuesday at the Place d'Armes in Namur, with the support of the ...