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Belgium in Brief: Rules For A Fourth Wave

It’s the news that nobody wants to hear, but here we go again.

Belgium’s council of ministers will hold an emergency meeting on Monday to discuss the country’s epidemiological situation.

Looking across the news, the plan is to discuss the reintroduction of restrictions and a return to wearing face masks indoors is looking ever more likely. While they could change this week, here are the rules as they stand for now.

Now, back to the regular pre-Consultative Committee expectations. 

As in previous meetings, the aim at present is to control and contain the virus. Belgium’s local media is already awash with suggestions of how to do this, but as ever, these really remain unconfirmed until De Croo sings.

So what do we know? As reported on Sunday, De Croo has stressed that closing down sectors isn’t on the agenda, so an educated guess would say that restrictions will instead be tightened to allow these sectors – in particular hospitality – to remain open.

Going one step further into the unconfirmed-but-widely-expected, changes to the rules for masks and teleworking are expected to be announced without too much upset.

According to Minister of Health Frank Vandenbroucke, people should start wearing masks again anyway and not wait for the official advice to do so. 

So, what do you see changing?

Let @johnstonjules know (or email me j.johnston@brusselstimes.com

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1. Re-introducing face masks indoors considered as Covid-19 situation worsens

Belgium’s council of ministers will hold an emergency meeting on Monday to discuss the worsening epidemiological situation, and reintroducing face masks indoors in Flanders is expected to be on the table. Read More.

2. ‘Can’t keep count’: Instagram page for sexual assault testimonies overwhelmed

Photo of the first march against sexual violence from Monica Frassoni on Facebook.

An Instagram account compiling testimonies in an effort to give a voice to victims of sexual violence in bars and nightclubs has been overwhelmed with messages from young women wanting to share their experiences. Read more.

3. Belgian grandparents to walk across Scotland for COP26

A group of Belgian grandparents has set off on a 100 km hike that will take them from Belgium to the Scottish city of Glasgow, just ahead of the COP26 climate summit. Here’s more.

4. ‘Fourth wave’ has begun: These are the rules

The expected fourth wave of the coronavirus pandemic has begun, according to Belgium’s Health Minister Frank Vandenbroucke (Vooruit). Here are the current rules. 

5. Hire bikes and scooters: Brussels Parliament wants to restore order

Majority parties in the Brussels Parliament plan to enact new rules allowing communes to set specific and mandatory parking spaces for hire bikes and scooters, as well as limiting their speed in pedestrian zones and increasing checks. Here’s more.

6. Amid backlash, Brussels police chief promises to do better for sexual assault victims

After multiple rallies against sexual violence took place in Brussels last week, with victims offering testimony of poor treatment from police when attempting to report the crime, the chief of police for the Brussels South police zone says they want to do better. Here’s more.

7. Increase in number of people ‘asking King for mercy’ through royal pardons

More and more people living in Belgium have been seeking royal pardons, mainly for fines, largely as a result of it now being possible to send in such applications by email. Read More

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