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Pedestrian zone late-night drinking ban from February
A ban on night-time street drinking around Brussels' central pedestrian zone will officially come into force on 1 February - for a trial period of six months.
The City of Brussels has approved a decree stating that "the consumption of alcoholic beverages in public spaces, in any quantity whatsoever, is prohibited from midnight to 6.00".
The proposed ban was first announced last month by Brussels mayor Philippe Close, who wanted it to be enforced before the end of the year.
The measure will instead begin on 1 February and will initially apply for six months - until 1 August - when its effectiveness will then be evaluated.
The ban does not apply to cafes, which can still serve drinks on their terraces. It will also be waived in the event of any major festive or sporting events authorised or organised by the City of Brussels.
From the day the ban is implemented, offenders face an administrative fine of €350. Unlike a similar ban around the Flagey neighbourhood, there does not appear to be a grace period.
Announcing the measures last month, Close said: "I do not want a city that stops at 22.00. I do not believe in that at all. Brussels is a cosmopolitan, 24-hour city, but that has to be managed."
David Weytsman, an MR member of parliament for Brussels, said it did not make sense that "one can drink on a cafe terrace, but not on the bench next door".