Belgian Minister want mayors to keep Dutch shoppers away
Belgian Health Minister Frank Vandenbroucke is worried that the lockdown implemented in the Netherlands on Monday will result in Dutch flocking to Belgium to shop for fun. He wants the Belgian mayors to be vigilant and prevent crowded shopping streets, he said on Flemish broadcaster Radio 1.
The lockdown in the Netherlands closed all non-essential stores. These stores are at least partly open in Belgium. Coronavirus infections are rising slightly again in Flanders, Vandenbroucke warned. He is therefore concerned about Dutch shoppers flooding Belgian streets.
"Our mayors in big cities are responsible for controlling the influx in the shopping streets," he said. "Knowing that the Dutch will come here to shop for fun, we will have to make it clear to them: sorry, there is no shopping for fun here. Here you can visit a store for a maximum of half an hour, alone, and we limit the influx into the shopping streets."
According to Vandenbroucke, the "controlled opening" of non-essential stores that is currently in place in Belgium is sustainable. "But the Dutch must not disturb this by shopping here en masse," he said. "Again: the mayors have the responsibility to control the influx. If more Dutch people come here, everyone will have to wait longer. And I also rely on the mayors' tough hand if necessary."