Police peacefully disperse young people gathered in Leuven town square

Dozens of young people came together in a square in the centre of Leuven last night, in what seemed to have been a largely coronavirus-compliant gathering.

At least for the first part of the evening, groups were kept to a maximum of 10 people and police officers reported that most were adhering to the social distancing measures intended to lessen the spread of the virus, according to De Standaard.

“It was busy, but not too bad,” one of the young people in attendance told reporters. “We really enjoyed this. We have been inside for a whole year. Do you know how much pleasure an evening outside with friends can bring?”

Eventually, around 11:00 PM, police called on the group to disperse.

“But we understand perfectly that the police have now decided to send us home. That’s okay, too. It never got out of hand, and that’s the way it should be,” said the same attendee.

With coronavirus numbers on the rise in Belgium, Mayor Mohamed Ridouani urged people to avoid crowded squares.

“The corona pandemic is still raging, the figures are on the rise,” said Ridouani. “Everyone is welcome to enjoy the sun, but you should avoid crowded places like the city park or the Sluispark. Leuven has plenty of cosy parks where it is quiet enough.”

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