BRUSSELS, Dec. 29 (Xinhua) -- Belgium is tightening up security measures to ensure the safety of participants of New Year's Eve celebrations across the country, a source from the Belgian federal police department told Xinhua on Thursday.
Despite lingering fears among the public after the terror attack in Berlin on Dec. 19, Belgium has decided to go ahead with the traditional festivities on New Year's Eve.
The source said that the police would step up its presence everywhere on New Year's Eve, and well-equipped special agents will be deployed to the most crowded spots.
Large-scale firework displays at midnight on New Year's Eve are planned for several Belgian cities, including the two biggest cities Brussels and Antwerp.
The police asks participants to not bring any purse or backpack to the firework display venues, where security checks will be carried out.
Glass bottles and any firework for personal use are strictly prohibited, and violators will face a fine ranging from 300 to 350 euros, according to the source.
In Brussels, the two metro stations near the venue will be closed as of 7 p.m. local time. Antwerp will also close off traffic to its quay, a bustling nightlife area, during the firework show, the source said.
Meanwhile, local media reported that in smaller cities like Ghent and Brugge, small firework for personal use is either banned or only allowed in a limited period of time on New Year's Eve.
Motorcycles, bikes, skateboards and roller skates are also banned from entering the celebration venue in the university town of Leuven.
A number of cities such as Ghent are also setting up more concrete blocks to guard their central squares and markets, and prevent suspicious vehicles from getting close to the crowds.
Belgium's terror alert level currently stands at 3, the second highest, and is likely to remain the same during the New Year holiday, according to the OCAD, the government organ responsible for analyzing terror threats.