The ban will apply 24/7, with the notable exception of events and outdoor terraces , Source: Stephanie Leblanc / Unsplash

Brussels to extend the ban on drinking in public for another year

Brussels to extend the ban on drinking in public for another year

The ban aims to make the streets of the Belgian capital safer at night

Recently, Brussels authorities announced their plans for extending the drinking ban in the city centre for another year, until October 2023. The policy was first instituted in 2020 to help curb some of the public order issues in the city centre, as well as promote safety in pedestrian areas.

Furthermore, city officials have explained that the policy has had some successful knock-on effects in reducing public space damage as well as littering. At the same time, with the extension, authorities are hoping it could also help make the city centre safer for pedestrians and residents.

Extension, extension, extension

The ban on drinking in public was first instituted in February 2020 and was originally only supposed to apply for six months, until 1 August of that year. Moreover, it applied only from midnight to 6 AM and gave law authorities the means to issue fines of up to 350 euros, a number that can double for repeat offenders in the span of two years.

It was extended in the midst of the Covid-pandemic to limit public disorder and violent behaviour, as well as to curb the number of public gatherings. As RTBF reports, now City of Brussels officials could vote to extend the bill yet again, until October 2023.

Furthermore, the City of Brussels also plans to extend the ban to cover 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Importantly, though, it will not prohibit drinking inside open-air events in the central area and it will also not affect restaurants and bars with terraces.

According to a report by the Brussels-Capital-Ixelles police department, quoted by RTBF, the ban has had some effect on the quality of life in the city centre. Most importantly, there has been a significant drop in the amount of litter and bodily waste. The police report says that noise complaints from residents have also dropped significantly.



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