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Ostend police, mayor urge would-be visitors to stay away

© Belga

Ostend’s mayor and police chief on Saturday urged holidaymakers to stay away from the coastal city due to a considerable influx of visitors for the sun-filled final weekend of the Carnival holiday.

The influx has been extremely heavy in Ostend and parking space is becoming scarce.

“Parking lots are filled and there are many people,” said Police Chief Philip Caestecker. “It’s not a good idea for everyone to come to Ostend for the time being.”

Similarly, Mayor Bart Tommelein feels the city has already reached saturation levels. “The business streets and the dyke are extremely busy,” he said. “It’s manageable, but more people should not be added.”

Considerable visitor numbers were also registered on Saturday at Coxyde, Nieuport, De Haan, Blankenberge and Knokke-Heist.

Generally, the situation was manageable in these coastal towns. However in Blankenberge, the business street had to be closed for a few minutes in the morning due to the arrival of a train filled with passengers.

“The train was filled to 95% of capacity, which was too much, so we had to intervene for a few minutes. All trains should be functioning at 40% of capacity,” Mayor Daphné Dumery explained.

“All the same, the crowds are manageable and people are clearly complying with the rules,” she added.

The Brussels Times