While the approaching Phase 4 heralds life almost returning to normal in Belgium, some rather substantial changes – such as added safety distance in everyday life – keep things squarely in the new normal.
In Brussels, for instance, the announcement of the Region’s has plans for 10 (out of a total of 50) low-traffic zones will impact life from the City of Brussels to Forest. The low-traffic zones will create extra space for pedestrians and cyclists, and will take the focus off of cars, with the goal to make Brussels a greener city.
However, as many Brussels residents have now indicated that the coronavirus has made them afraid to use public transport, it remains to be seen how many cars will actually be left at home.
So, what else is new? The Belgian crown princess has made headlines for her clothing style again, the High Council for Justice will make fighting sexual violence an absolute priority, and the latest figures show that the coronavirus epidemic is slowing down.
With so much information, and so little time to catch up before it potentially changes again, here are some of the top stories from around the country to get you up to speed.
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Medical experts raised the alarm in January regarding the shortage of face masks and other personal protective equipment (PPE) for hospitals should the coronavirus, then spreading in China, should reach Belgium. But politicians failed to respond.
That was just one of the claims made in a VRT programme shown on Thursday evening, which brought together seven major figures to discuss the beginnings of the crisis and the way it was handled. Read more.
Belgian Princess Elisabeth has been named among the world’s most stylish princesses by the British edition of the Vogue fashion magazine.
The 18-year-old Belgian crown princess’s clothing style is comparable to that of Kate Middleton, the Duchess of Cambridge, according to Vogue.
“She regularly wears feminine designs from Belgian designers, as well as belted dress-coats for formal events, with subtle jewellery and matching accessories to off-set her looks,” the magazine said. Read More.
The High Council of Justice (HCJ) has issued a report calling for the justice system to make an “absolute priority” of the matter of sexual violence.
“The HRJ notes that there is a lot of goodwill within the judiciary, but there is no integrated policy on an approach to sexual violence,” the report concludes. And it makes three recommendations. Read more.
An average of 89 people per day tested positive for the new coronavirus (Covid-19) in Belgium, according to figures by the Federal Public Health Service on Friday.
The total number of confirmed cases in Belgium, since the beginning of the pandemic, is 61,106. The total reflects all people in Belgium who have been infected, and includes confirmed active cases as well as patients who have since recovered, or died from the consequences of the virus.
An average number of 89 people per day tested positive for the virus over the 7-day period from 16 to 22 June. The trend decreased by 6% compared to the daily average of 94 new infections the week before. Read more.