Brussels region makes face masks compulsory

BRUSSELS (AFP) – The wearing of face masks in public was compulsory in the Brussels region from yesterday, regional authorities announced, as Belgium battles one of the most serious coronavirus outbreaks in Europe.

Face masks were already required in most closed public spaces since July 11 for people aged 12 and above.

The measure was extended in the 19 municipalities of the Brussels region after the threshold of 50 daily cases per 100,000 people was crossed, the regional government said in a statement.

Belgium has one of the highest per capita death rates from COVID-19 in the world and infections are again rising after earlier success in bringing the epidemic under control.

The number of cases in the country of around 11.5 million people topped 75,000 yesterday. Nearly 10,000 deaths have been registered.

Women in a park in Brussels. PHOTO: AFP