A first municipality requires the wearing of masks in supermarkets: “We fear a second wave of infections and we want to be armed”


The mayor of the municipality of Deinze in East Flanders, Jan Vermeulen (CD&V), makes it compulsory to wear the mask from Wednesday onwards in the supermarkets and mini-markets of his entity.

The Minister of Internal Affairs, Pieter De Crem (CD&V), however is of the opinion that this is not the objective of the ministerial decree in this regard.

“We fear a second wave of infections and we wish to be armed,” said the mayor of Deinze. The obligation to wear a mask concerns all customers over 12 years of age. In all, 17 shops in the town are affected. “If we ask people to wear a mask in supermarkets, it is ultimately a small effort to protect each other, as well as the employees,” observes the mayor.

A distribution of free masks for residents of the municipality was organized. “Of all the cities in Belgium, we have observed relatively fewer infections,” concedes Mr. Vermeulen.

He hopes that the federal government will follow his example, “but above all that the mayors can do their work in their municipality. These masks are useful, we have known since then,” added the elected official.

Minister De Crem had previously reported on Tuesday in several media that he was not enthusiastic about the initiative of the Flemish municipality. It refers to the ministerial decree which strongly recommends the wearing of the mask but does not make it compulsory. “These rules apply everywhere as well as in Deinze”, he underlines.

In reaction to the position of the Minister of the Interior, the mayor Vermeulen announced via Twitter Tuesday evening that he maintained the obligation to wear the mask in the supermarkets and convenience stores of his town.

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