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Public drinking ban after midnight in pedestrian zone

20:10 15/10/2019

The City of Brussels has announced a ban on street drinking between midnight and 6.00 around the city's pedestrian zone.

Mayor Philippe Close said the ban would take effect by the end of the year. Night shops will still be allowed to sell alcohol - and, unlike a similar ban around Place Flagey in Ixelles, cafe terraces can still serve alcoholic drinks.

"I do not want a city that stops at 22.00," said Brussels mayor Philippe Close. "I do not believe in that at all. Brussels is a cosmopolitan, 24-hour city, but that has to be managed."

Fines will be issued to people who drink in the street and police will be told to keep a closer check on drunken and rowdy behaviour.

David Weytsman, an MR member of parliament for Brussels, said the ban was "unenforceable" and had been announced to generate headlines.

"Are we going to ask people if they have water or vodka in their flask?" he said, adding that it did not make sense that "one can drink on a cafe terrace, but not on the bench next door".

Weytsman said there were bigger issues around public order that needed to be addressed in the area. "Make public safety and cleanliness a priority," he said.

Written by The Bulletin