- Daily & Weekly newsletters
- Buy & download The Bulletin
- Comment on our articles
Blankenberge bans day-trippers this Sunday after brawl on beach
Blankenberge has announced it will ban day-trippers this Sunday (9 August), after a fight on the beach on Saturday saw groups of young people clash with police.
Mayor Daphne Duméry has asked the SNCB not to run any trains to the seaside resort between 9.00 and 16.00. Police checkpoints will be set up on the roads approaching Blankenberge.
"Our city needs a time-out," Duméry said. "On Sunday we want to keep day-trippers out of Blankenberge as much as possible. Only residents, second-home owners, overnight tourists and people working in the city will be admitted. With this measure we hope to restore peace."
The hot weather attracted thousands of day-trippers to Blankenberge on Saturday. Several dozen people were involved in a brawl on the beach late in the afternoon.
One eyewitness said tempers flared when police asked a group of young people to leave the beach, because the rising tide meant there was not enough space to ensure safe distancing.
Grote rellen strand BlankenbergePosted by Blankenberge dè place to Sea on Saturday, 8 August 2020
Video footage shows several people rebelling against police. One police officer was hit with a parasol.
"Most of the troublemakers have been caught," Duméry added. "Almost all of them have a long list of previous offences."
The SNCB said it would not be making any changes to its train schedule. "No trains will be cancelled, but we are letting passengers know that they may be told to go home when they arrive at their destination," a spokesman said.
"The extra trains will also run. We cannot just change our train schedule - there are also people who rely on the train to get to work."
Photo: Maaike Tussens/Belga