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Belgium in Brief: Shaking The Mask Habit 

I would love to kick this off by saying you no longer have to wear a mask in Belgium, but we’re not quite there yet.

However, we are closer than we’ve been in a long time. Maïthé Chini has all the details here, so best have a look to get yourself up to date.

What I want to know is how you feel about going maskless?

Despite masks no longer being as widespread as they once were, I still find myself wearing one when I walk around. It’s probably 80% unconscious habit at this point, but also one I’m in no great hurry to shift.

My mask has just become a thing I grab when I leave the house. I even have them for different occasions:

  • One grabbed out of the multipack we keep by the door when I’m in a rush,
  • The tartan one I wear when I’m trying to brighten up a crushingly mundane outfit,
  • The Batman one that’s really just for the days I wish it was acceptable for a 30-year-old to wear a Batman mask.

And honestly, I’m not sure when I’ll be giving that up entirely. For now, masks are still mandatory for all the places I think I would wear them. I don’t see a point any time soon when I won’t be wearing my batman on the metro or a blue tartan mask on the train.

To be honest, I’m ok with that. Are you?

Let @johnstonjules know (or email me

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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. Belgium’s PLF can be completed 180 days in advance from Friday

Once the paper version of Belgium’s Passenger Locator Form (PLF) disappears from Friday 1 October, returning travellers will be given 180 days in advance to complete the document electronically. Read More.

2. These relaxations are coming into force today

Credit: Belga/Pexels

Most of Belgium’s remaining coronavirus measures are being relaxed from today, as the country “takes another big step towards freedom” at the start of October. Here’s a recap.

3. #BringBondtoBrussels: Brussels wants to be next James Bond movie location

As the latest James Bond movie, ‘No Time to Die’, is premiering, Belgium’s capital city is launching the hashtag #BringBondtoBrussels to highlight locations in the city where the next Bond movie could be filmed. Here’s more.

4. Westmalle brewery launches hunt for ‘real gems’ among old glasses

What started as a charitable act by the monks of the Belgian Trappist beer Westmalle has left the brewery in an interesting situation as they have no idea how many styles of Westmalle glasses exist for their beer. Read More.

5. What’s new from 1 October?

Aside from coronavirus measures, other legislative changes will come into effect on 1 October with new rules on banks, television, and cats. Read more.

6. 100 German hooligans arrested in Antwerp ahead of football game

Some 100 hooligans of the German football club Eintracht Frankfurt were arrested on Thursday ahead of their UEFA Europa League match against Royal Antwerp FC later tonight. Read more.

7. Climate March: STIB will be free on Sunday 10 October

STIB services will be free between 12 noon and 7:00 PM on Sunday 10 October for the Climate March in Brussels, the public transport operator announced on Friday. Read more.

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