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Coastal lockout: Police brought in to limit entry to Belgian beach towns by Alan Ḥope August 09,2020   |  Source: The Brussels Times

The mayor of Blankenberge, Daphné Dumery (N-VA) has brought in local police to stop day trippers entering the town following yesterday’s pitched battle on the beach between police and trouble-makers.

Last night Dumery said the town was closed to day-trippers, and called on the rail authority SNCB to stop delivering visitors by train to the resort.

Her call came after another coastal mayor, Leopold Lippens of Knokke-Heist, followed up a plea to day-trippers to stay away with a similar order to police to allow entry only to those with a valid excuse – residents, owners of second-homes and longer-term tourists.

Further down the coast, at the largest of the destinations for beach tourists at Ostend, mayor Bart Tommelein (Open VLD) called on the SNCB to cancel the planned extra trains laid on for visitors to the coast, in an attempt to curtain the number of people who would turn to Ostend once faced with the lockdown of Knokke and Blankenberge.

But the SNCB said it would maintain its schedule unless the federal government said otherwise, pointing out that it was up to local mayors to decide for themselves whether to close down their stations.

Tommelein responded by doing just that. The city’s station was scheduled to close at 11.00.

By that time trains filled

 

© 2019 The Brussels Times

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