Belgian police will ‘ring the bell’ and check houses at Christmas to prevent gatherings
ROESELARE, Belgium, November 24, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) — Belgium’s Minister of the Interior warned that police would “ensure compliance with health measures at Christmas,” knocking on doors to assess if families are breaking COVID-19 restrictions.
Speaking to Belgian weekly newspaper De Zondag, Annelies Verlinden announced that over Christmas, police will “monitor compliance with the measures.”
“Enforcement is very important,” Verlinden said. “And where necessary, due to noise nuisance for example, the police will ring the bell.”
She stopped short of ordering police to enter homes to break up parties, mentioning that “residential entry in itself is not a priority. The legislation does not make that possible either.”
Verlinden herself was invited into Belgium’s new government, and only assumed office on October 1 of this year. After 18 years as a lawyer, Verlinden was described by her interviewer as “suddenly a powerful woman, especially now that we are almost living in a police state.”
“If we all stick to the measures, we may be able to offer some perspective,” Verlinden claimed, in answer to questions about Christmas celebrations.
“It is my absolute wish, and that of my colleagues, to allow a little more human closeness for Christmas. At the same time, we must take the alarm signals from hospitals very seriously. We have to find a balance.”
Belgium is currently under another national lockdown with strict rules in place regarding social contact. The government website stipulates that close contact, i.e., contact without physical distancing, is only allowed with one and the same person.
If a person lives on his own, he can have one such close contact and an extra visitor, but not simultaneously. Outside, only groups of “up to 4 people are allowed,” providing that physical distancing is maintained.
The news comes shortly after a similar announcement last month by an official in the West Midlands Police in the U.K.
David Jamieson, the politician responsible for the U.K. police force in the West Midlands area, made the comments to The Telegraph, stating, “If we think there’s large groups of people gathering where they shouldn’t be, then police will have to intervene. If, again, there’s flagrant breaking of the rules, then the police would have to enforce.”
Jamieson, the Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) for West Midlands Police (WMP), oversees the department and has the power to appoint and fire the chief constable.
Since Jamieson’s comments, the U.K. government has announced an easing of the current national lockdown, with plans to allow three households to meet over the Christmas period. In place of a national lockdown, the country will return to a stricter tiered system of restrictions.
While lockdowns are being reintroduced across the globe in supposed attempts to combat the spread of COVID-19, studies are proving that such measures are ineffective. Conducted by the Heritage Foundation, a paper in July examined the United States, Germany, Australia, New Zealand, South Korea, Italy, Iceland, Norway, Sweden, and Iran. The study found that lockdowns “are less effective at combating COVID-19 than strategies more narrowly targeted at those most in danger.”
More recently, the American Institute for Economy Research (AIER) issued a report re-affirming the findings that lockdowns cause widespread damage to normal life. The AIER showed that lockdowns significantly and detrimentally affect mental health, unemployment figures, crime rates and healthcare.