Banning all daytrips to Belgian coast is ‘not desirable,’ says Interior Minister
Share article:
Share article:

Banning all daytrips to Belgian coast is ‘not desirable,’ says Interior Minister

Credit: Belga

Punishing all tourists wanting to travel to the coast for one day because of the actions of a few youths last weekend is “not desirable,” according to Belgian Minister for Security and Home Affairs Pieter De Crem.

Rather than banning day-trippers from the most popular resorts on the coast, as Knokke-Heist mayor Leopold Lippens decided to do, De Crem is in favour of imposing administrative or judicial bans to enter certain places on those identified as troublemakers.

“I will take steps to ensure that a ban can be imposed for the entire coast,” he told the parliament on Tuesday, “and if necessary also for recreational areas.”

De Crem hopes to be able to “quickly” put his idea into practice through a “legislative initiative,” he told Belga.

A ban should be imposed on those convicted, as well as on those who have received an administrative fine for failing to comply with the rules. The ban would apply temporarily during specific periods, such as heatwave weekends or the tourist season.

The measure could be checked in the commune where the banned people live, for example by means of a permit to report to the authorities.

“We cannot punish the many people who have the right to travel to the coast for the actions of twenty or more troublemakers,” he said, adding that this is one of the reasons why he opposed the possible closure of the stations during the weekend.

Related News:


Additionally, he stressed that “at no time” was there a report of a lack of police personnel in Blankenberge last weekend, when the fight started, listing the federal reinforcements that were available and have also intervened Saturday to evacuate the beach and arrest suspects.

These various reinforcements intervened on Saturday, he pointed out, rejecting the idea suggested by some MPs that the mayors of the coastal municipalities would have been “abandoned” by the federal government.

“In the context of the Covid-19 pandemic, the local authorities asked for more autonomy, which they received at the end of the National Security Council of 23 July,” De Crem stressed.

The idea was that the local authorities could propose specific measures, adapted to the local reality, to effectively fight against the spread of the virus. On the coast, popular resorts have made use of it to create a beach reservation system.

However, in the local management of Saturday’s events, there were several missed opportunities, according to De Crem.

In Blankenberge specifically, the beach “is very narrow, there is little room outside private concessions at high tide. It is the task of the local authorities to manage this space, to make sure that there are not too many people depending on the tides.”

“According to my information, the first signals of problems with youths arrived at around 2:00 PM, and there was no intervention until several hours later,” he added.

The Brussels Times

Latest news

Belgium’s Consultative Committee to meet early this week
The next meeting of Belgium's Consultative Committee, scheduled for Friday, has been brought forward to Tuesday at 4:30 PM, according to local media ...
Coca-Cola, Pepsi and Unilever are world’s biggest plastic polluters
Coca-Cola, Pepsi, and Unilever were found to be the world's biggest polluters of plastic in a report published by Branded on Monday. Over 11,000 ...
Four men charged with illegally buying thousands of live ducks to hunt on private land
Four Belgian men will appear in court on Monday facing charges related to the purchase of thousands of ducks, which were then released into a private ...
More wolf attacks: 15 deer killed at family resort over the weekend
Fifteen deer were killed by wolves in the Belgian province of Limburg this weekend, between Saturday night and Sunday morning. The deer were ...
Cost of breast cancer still too high for many patients
Breast cancer still carries too high a cost for patients when one in nine women in Belgium will face the disease before reaching 75, according to a ...
Gare Maritime: Brussels’ most exciting new architectural project
A generation ago, the Gare Maritime in the Tour & Taxis industrial site was an abandoned wasteland. It is now a model for urban renewal and ...
Person hit by train in Brussels
A person was hit by a train in the tunnel between Brussels North and Brussels Central at around 10:20 AM on Monday, railway network manager Infrabel ...
Belgium in Brief: Rules For A Fourth Wave
It's the news that nobody wants to hear, but here we go again. Belgium’s council of ministers will hold an emergency meeting on Monday to discuss ...
Belgian grandparents to walk across Scotland for COP26
A group of Belgian grandparents has set off on a 100 km hike that will take them from Belgium to the Scottish city of Glasgow, just ahead of the ...
Rise in fuel prices will bring Belgian State €547 million in tax, say Workers Party
The sharp rise in fuel prices that have been felt across the continent will bring an additional €547 million to the Belgian State, the Workers' Party ...
Amid backlash, Brussels police chief promises to do better for sexual assault victims
After multiple rallies against sexual violence took place in Brussels last week, with victims offering testimony of poor treatment from police when ...
Hire bikes and scooters: Brussels Parliament wants to restore order
Majority parties in the Brussels Parliament plan to enact new rules allowing communes to set specific and mandatory parking spaces for hire bikes and ...