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Mayor to impose one-year alcohol drinking ban in central Brussels
From 5 October, no one will be allowed to drink alcohol in the majority of Brussels city-centre public spaces, announced Brussels mayor Philippe Close (PS) “with a heavy heart” on 25 September. The measure, to be laid down in a police directive, will last a full year, until 5 October 2021.
This new decree goes further than the night-time - midnight to 6.00 – restriction announced on 1 February. This edict banned people from drinking, in any quantity, in the capital’s central pedestrianised zone, supposedly for a six-month trial period, carrying a €350 fine for offendors (although there have been no reports of any fines actually being imposed).
Following the new announcement, drinking will not be permitted 24/7 and in a much wider area, stretching from the districts known as Chicago/Sainte-Catherine and Alhambra (south west of Brussels North station) and extending to the Grand’Place.
The exact area, still to be defined in the decree, will essentially be the streets between Boulevard Anspach and the canal, from the Sainctelette bridge to Sainte-Catherine. On the Boulevard itself, the ban extends to Place Fontainas.
The other side of Boulevard Anspach, the historic centre including the Grand Place, is not included in the ban. The measure will however apply to Rue du Midi, Rue des Fripiers and Place de la Monnaie.
It will still be permitted to buy alcohol in shops or have a drink on a café terrace, Close said, adding that he hopes that this measure will not become the norm.
“I understand that people want to drink in a park, but today this is no longer possible,” the mayor said, explaining increased complaints from inhabitants and shop keepers were the main reason for the ban: “Public disturbances linked to alcohol consumption in these two districts are becoming unbearable for residents.”