Since Belgium officially went into a full lockdown yesterday, API has received questions from colleagues who want to know to what extent the restrictive measures also have an impact on their journalistic activities. Especially where journalists want to take to the streets to conduct interviews, make reports and do stand-ups.
We can reassure you: the restrictions do not apply to journalistic activities. In the decree regulating the lockdown, a special exception has been made to the ban on gathering and related measures for "The media, journalists and communications services".
Nevertheless, journalists do well to always carry their professional ID: the Belgian press card, the inter-institutional EU badge or another recognized press card. That should be enough to avoid problems with the police and other law enforcement agencies. If you do run into problems, please let API know.
The Belgian authorities do urge the media to use secure communication techniques instead of "physical" interviews as much as possible. And also when interviewing or doing or standups, appropriate security measures must be taken, such as keeping a distance between journalist and interviewee.
Stay safe, stay healthy!
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