'Today's Episode of Black Mirror': Belgian Police Drone Enforces Social Distancing

In a move straight from the pages of a sci-fi novel, visitors to the historic Parc du Cinquantenaire in Brussels were reminded to observe social-distancing rules via a police-operated drone on March 21.

Since March 18, Belgians were required to stay at home “as much as possible”, with exceptions for work, essential travel and outdoor exercise as long as people remained at least 1.5 metres apart.

Antonis Stylianou, who filmed this video, was exercising in Cinquantenaire when he noticed the drone flying overhead. It reminded fellow park-goers in French, Flemish and English to “respect the general hygiene measures and leave at least 1.5 meters between each other.”

According to Stylianou, the drone warned people would be reported for non-compliance. He posted on Twitter that it was like “today’s episode of Black Mirror.”

“The police had a strong presence in the park,” he told Storyful. “The people in the park were amazed to see the drone and many were pausing their jogging trying to locate where the sound was coming from.”

Stylianou added that reactions were mixed “with many pointing to the drone, some finding it amusing, others running away from it.”

Belgian health officials reported a surge in Coronavirus infections of 586 on Saturday, bringing the total confirmed cases to 3,401. The national death toll was 21 on March 19. Credit: Antonis Stylianou via Storyful