City of Antwerp obliged to have a mouth mask with you


In the city of Antwerp, under an urgent police ordinance that will be signed on Monday, everyone over 12 years of age will have to have a mouth mask with them everywhere and at all times. That reports mayor Bart De Wever (N-VA).

There is as yet no general obligation to wear the mask effectively. According to De Wever, so that ‘absurd restrictions are not imposed’ for when the distance rule can be perfectly guaranteed.

The exceptions to the Antwerp obligation to also wear the mouth mask that you have are: when you are in a catering business to consume, when you perform a static activity where the distance rule is strictly and continuously respected and when you perform an activity where the distance rule is constantly guaranteed in relation to other persons outside the own bubble. “The occasional crossing or passing of other people outside their own bubble where the distance rule is not maintained for a short period of time does not affect the continuous character,” says De Wever.

The Antwerp mayor says that Friday’s ministerial decree that includes a mouth mask obligation “in shopping streets and any private or publicly frequented place, determined by the competent local government” raises many questions. “In a metropolis with 530,000 inhabitants, the economic and social heart of Flanders, the demarcation of shopping streets and possibly busy axes means that hundreds of streets would be equipped with signage to impose the mask obligation.” “This would not be a logical area with the many bustling district centers. Moreover, this does not yet take into account the neighborhoods where it can be busy at unpredictable times of the day. ‘

Calm moments

On the other hand, there are also calm moments in mostly busy neighborhoods, says De Wever. “Walking the dog in a quiet neighborhood at night, walking on a shopping axis when the crowds have passed after closing, jogging in a quiet park: there are situations where such regulations can affect the support of our population,” he points out. face mask obligation. “I have also noted the opinions of experts, including Prof. Dr. Ranst, that a general and unconditional obligation to use a mask for masks, as issued in some municipalities, was considered superfluous.”

According to the mayor, the rule that De Wever does impose means that everyone should always have a mouth mask in their pocket and that this should also be put on in busy places. “The advantage of this obligation to have and wear a mouth mask, beyond the specific exceptions that have been given, is that the rule is clear and commensurate with the social goal: preventing people in crowded places from respecting the distance rule without mouth mask, ‘he says. “This rule takes into account the changing and sometimes unpredictable situations on streets and squares as one would expect in a big city.”


The measure will also be maintained after a sensitization period, according to De Wever. He argues that the rule also lends itself to application across the country and calls on the National Security Council to issue a similar federal rule to implement a “clear, uniform, and logical policy.” “I have always pointed out the danger of a proliferation in tackling the current crisis,” says De Wever. “That is why I was the first in March to request the announcement of the federal phase in order to pursue a uniform policy. The second wave was based on the principle that it should be targeted locally. However, the second wave has not only arrived earlier than expected, it is also an illusion to think that it will remain very local. It is simply too late for that. ”

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