Justice minister announces fines for breaking coronavirus rules

Justice minister announces fines for breaking coronavirus rules
Justice Minister Vincent Van Quickenborne. Credit: Belga

As announced on Tuesday by Prime Minister Alexander De Croo and Minister of Public Health Frank Vandenbroucke, the authorities intend to reinforce the control of the rules to combat the spread of the coronavirus.

Minister of Justice Vincent Van Quickenborne reiterated this on Friday morning on the Dutch-speaking Radio 1, indicating that the police and public prosecutors will focus over the next few days on the wearing of masks in transport, the respect of the "rule of four" for private gatherings and the early closing time in cafés.

According to the president of the Standing Commission of the Local Police (CPPL), Nicholas Paelinck, the officers have been instructed to intervene directly and to issue tickets. Now, "people can no longer hide behind a lack of clarity."

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The fines for breaching the new rules remain the same: 250 euros for citizens, 750 for establishments in the hospitality industry. According to Van Quickenborne, anyone caught breaking the rules will have to pay the fine. The police have been asked to give priority to direct transactions, with a payment terminal or QR code.

For those who would refuse, "it was decided to designate a corona magistrate per judicial district, who would be in charge of unsettled cases. We don't want a witch hunt, but we want everything to be followed up properly", says Vincent Van Quickenborne.

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