Belgium in Brief: You Can Run Across A Border, But You Can't Drive

Belgium in Brief: You Can Run Across A Border, But You Can't Drive

What can run across a border, but cannot drive?

This isn't really a riddle, it's just snark in the form of a question - because the answer is you, as long as you are in the right place.

Let me explain.

Under Belgium's latest measures, there are only 6 (ish) essential reasons for which you are allowed to cross the border at the moment, but there is also a secret 7th reason.

Fundamentally, this secret reason is 'accidentally while exercising.'

You see, hikers, joggers or cyclists from the border region whose tour takes them across the border will not be targeted by police services. This was confirmed by the chairman of the Permanent Committee of the local police.

This confirmation follows confusion about the measure on Tuesday, as many believed the police would carry out checks in the middle of nature parks or walking routes that cross the border with the Netherlands.

How this will play out over the weekend waits to be seen.

Is this a loophole? Just common sense? Or honestly a bit of both.

Let @johnstonjules know on Twitter.

Belgium in Brief is a free daily roundup of the top stories to get you through your lunch break conversations. To receive it straight to your inbox every day, sign up below:

1. ‘Not much room’ for extra measures against UK variant, says Jambon

There are not a lot of extra measures Belgium can take to stop the UK coronavirus variant from overrunning the country, according to Flemish Minister-President Jan Jambon. Read More.

2. Almost raped in Cinquantenaire, Brussels woman begins fight for safer streets

An expat woman living in Brussels is calling for better protection of women in the municipality of Etterbeek after she was nearly raped near Cinquantenaire Park last Friday.

Speaking to The Brussels Times, Carla R. explained that she was walking home on Avenue de la Chevalerie, close to the Cinquantenaire Park, when a man grabbed her and tried to rape her, but she managed to escape. Read More.

3. Covid-19: In one month British variant will overrun Belgium

In another month, the so-called British variant of the virus that causes Covid-19 will be the dominant strain in Belgium, a virology report has warned.

The virology lab of the KU Leuven has been examining the spread of the variant, more correctly known as B.1.1.7, and has come to the conclusion that it is spreading out of control, and that existing prevention measures will not be enough to stop its spread. Read More.

4. Belgium in 72nd place for handling of Covid-19, New Zealand top

© Pixabay

Belgium scored 72nd place in a world ranking of 98 countries for its handling of the Covid-19 pandemic, according to a league table drawn up by Lowy Institute in Australia.

Unsurprisingly, the New Zealand government of prime minister Jacinda Ardern took top spot with a score of 94.4 from a possible 100. Read More.

5. Police will not carry out fixed checks on travel ban

Police do not intend to carry out fixed checks on compliance with the travel ban, the federal police said on Wednesday.

Instead, the road, air and rail police will carry out random checks at various border crossings, they said. Read more.

6. Belgium is confident it justified travel restrictions to EU leaders

Prime Minister Alexander De Croo has said that he does not believe the European Commission will ask Belgium to further justify its decision to ban non-essential travel, in the House Interior Committee on Wednesday.

“We are not closing the borders,” De Croo insisted, questioned by Peter De Roover (N-VA) and Kattrin Jadin (MR), a German-speaking elected representative whose fellow citizens are particularly concerned by cross-border travel. Read More.

7. Rain expected in Belgium ahead of cold weekend

Belgium can expect warmer but rainy days ahead of a colder weekend during which some snowfall is possible, according to the Royal Meteorological Institute (RMI).

Rain is expected in all of Belgium on Thursday morning, while it will decrease in intensity during the afternoon. Read More.

Jules Johnston

The Brussels Times

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