For the first time in Belgium, a café has been shut down because the owner broke the ban on smoking in catering establishments several times, the Mediahuis papers reported on Saturday. The Café Milano in Ghent, which is now called Venus, was closed by police on Friday. The owner had been fined for not respecting the smoking ban in cafés and restaurants nine times. As well as a 4,800 euro fine, the owner has to keep his establishment closed for a month, until the 5th of December.
Two other owners decided to shut their cafés themselves following a sanction.
These are the first cafés to close for this reason, according to the Eastern Flanders Prosecutor’s office. “We have always had a zero tolerance policy on smoking in cafés, and we are pleased that those who refuse to obey the law are being severely punished”, the Prosecutor’s office said. They are expecting further closures over the coming months.