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

Belgium intends to activate the pandemic law, says Health Minister
"We intend to activate the pandemic law," Public Health Minister Frank Vandenbroucke confirmed on Tuesday in the House committee, ahead of Tuesday's ...
EU auditors: More worried about the future budget than about pervasive errors in the 2020 budget
The European Court of Auditors (ECA) have signed off the 2020 EU accounts as giving a true and fair view of the union’s financial position but like ...
Belgium aims to tackle sexual violence with video interrogations
The federal government is looking to tackle sexual violence and increase convictions connected to this crime by relying more heavily on video ...
Duvel celebrates 150th anniversary with special brew in commemorative bottle
Belgium’s Duvel Moortgat Brewery is celebrating its 150th anniversary with the release of a special brew in a commemorative bottle shaped like its ...
Pollution scandal: 3M to show emissions don’t pose risk or halt production
Flanders has ordered American company 3M, involved in a pollution scandal in Antwerp, to prove that emissions linked to its production activities do ...
The Netherlands fears a greater rise in sea levels than forecast
Sea levels could rise by up to two metres by 2100 on the Dutch coastline – far more than previously forecast – according to an announcement from the ...
The Smurfs return to Belgian TV with the first new show since 1989
A new Smurfs show is bringing the characters of Belgium's second-most-famous comic franchise back to the small screen with their first new series, 30 ...
Almost half of Belgian subsidies from EU left unused
Belgium left almost half (49%) of its subsidies allocated by the European Union between 2013 and 2020 unused, the equivalent of around €1.375 ...
Visitors to embark on Orient Express adventure at Brussels exhibition
An exhibition dedicated to the Orient Express – the train that was the scene for many novels, including Agatha Christie's – allows visitors to ...
Offers for fake Covid Safe Tickets circulating on social media
As the Covid Safe Ticket (CST) becomes mandatory in many places across Belgium, offers for forgeries are increasingly circulating on social media. ...
Belgium in Brief: Feeling Good/ Pandemic Law
Yesterday I said I was writing a newsletter I didn't want to write again. Today I'm writing another one ahead of a meeting that wasn't supposed ...
Eating less meat won’t actually help much with Flemish CO2 emissions
When it comes to the ways in which ordinary people can help to reduce CO2 emissions, eating less meat is often touted as an important solution. ...