Minister for domestic security François Bausch says restriction of movement rules were being imposed to tackle a crisis that has claimed many fatalities. Government screenshot.
In a Thursday morning briefing, minister for domestic security François Bausch (Déi Gréng) stressed that fines will be imposed on anyone breaking new restriction of movement rules.
Bausch opened his media briefing by saying that the new regulations imposed by the government had not been taken lightly and were not designed to punish people. They were measures to tackle a crisis that has claimed many fatalities, the minister said. “We can get through this if everyone sticks to the rules.”
Bausch praised the police for their work and said there was a risk that society would stop functioning without the commitment of officers to the task at hand. He also thanked the army and the families of the officers who had been called up for duty.
Philippe Schrantz, director general of the police, said that 1,500 officers were currently on duty and that he could call on an additional 20% who are currently on standby. Bausch added that 40 officers from the customs service were reinforcing the police and had been given the powers to impose fines.
Police checks will start to be stricter, the minister explained. There had been instances of people not adhering to the restriction of movement rules, and Schrantz added he had even heard rumours of cafés, which have been shut down since Sunday, having invited regulars to hold parties behind closed doors. “This is not the time to party,” he said.
Chief public prosecutor Martine Solovieff said that the courts would ensure that sanctions were carried out. As a reminder, she said that individuals who break the restriction of movement rules would be fined €145. If the fine is not paid within 30 days, it will be doubled. Businesses can be fined €4,000, which can also be doubled to €8,000 for repeat offenders. In certain circumstances the judiciary also has the authority to close down businesses.
People should limit activities to those that are necessary, Bausch said. They can go to work and go shopping for groceries – though he said that people should be efficient and only buy necessary items and not to take time to browse in supermarkets. He called for families and friends to shop for the elderly and vulnerable. Going for a walk is permitted, but again should only be undertaken in limited numbers and with people from their household.
As of Monday, Luxairport will definitely be closed for passenger traffic, Bausch said. It will remain open for freight traffic, which provides a vital bridge to the outside world the minister said. A couple of airlines, notably British Airways and KLM, still had scheduled flights. Luxair is coordinating with the authorities to bring back Luxembourg nationals and residents from abroad.
Bausch also said that certain industrial and manufacturing facilities could continue to operate. Now is not the phase for a complete shutdown, he said. “But we are monitoring the situation constantly and can take measures where necessary. Will evaluate from hour to hour.”