The father of Belgian Prime Minister Alexander De Croo has been handed a fine for not following coronavirus guidelines during the Tour of Flanders cycling race on Sunday.
Herman De Croo, 83, was the only person who was reported for breaking Covid-19 restrictions during the race. He was photographed not wearing a mask when cyclists rode past his home in Brakel, east Flanders.
The long-standing politician told Belgian-language newspaper Het Nieuwsblad: “I made a mistake and should indeed have worn a face mask.
“It doesn’t matter whether I was all alone at home or not. Everyone along the entire route of the Tour is obliged to wear a face mask. I should have known that and will pay the fine.”
The fine for not wearing a face mask is €250 (approximately £228).
Mr De Croo also told the newspaper that he received a phone call from his son, the Prime Minister, about his offence after “he had already heard it from someone”.
Alexander was also at home during the race and posted a photo of himself and his children watching the race on television.
The Tour of Flanders is an annual road cycling race, also known as Flander’s Finest. It is usually held in the spring but was postponed this year because of the coronavirus pandemic.
Wie van de Ronde van Vlaanderen houdt, kijkt vandaag thuis. Veel koersplezier aan iedereen! _______________ Les amateurs du Ronde van Vlaanderen, le regarderont aujourd'hui de chez eux. Bonne course! @rondevanvlaanderenofficial @flandersclassics
A post shared by Alexander De Croo (@alexanderdecroo) on Oct 18, 2020 at 1:02am PDT
Spectators along the route were required to wear a mask an hour before the race and an hour later, as was announced by the Governor of East Flanders, Carina Van Cauter.
The event was a “success”, she said, despite the single blunder. Ms Van Cauter added: “The fans have behaved in an exemplary manner, proving that cycling can be corona-proof. A boost for the future.”