Belgium in Brief: Your Driver Won’t Be Arriving Soon?

Belgium in Brief: Your Driver Won’t Be Arriving Soon?
Credit: Belga/Pexels

From tomorrow 6:00 PM, Uber will disappear from the Brussels-Capital Region, it announced yesterday.

The decision follows a ruling by the Brussels Court of Appeal that stated drivers can no longer work with the Uber app, based on an earlier court ruling against Uber from 2015.

This decision forces the roughly 2,000 Uber drivers in the city to cease their activities as of Friday, making the app virtually unusable in the Belgian capital.

To protest against the ruling and call on the Regional Government to introduce new legislation, hundreds of drivers took to the streets and blocked traffic in Brussels on Thursday morning.

“We will block Brussels every day and drive at a snail’s pace until we get an answer from the cabinet of Rudi Vervoort (minister-president of the Brussels-Capital Region),” Fernando Redondo, president of the Belgian Limousine Drivers Association (ABCL), told Belga news agency.

At the end of September, Brussels revealed the long-awaited ‘Taxi Plan’ by Vervoort, which states that the statutes for Uber and traditional taxi drivers will be equalised and that there will be minimum rates.

What will come of it now, however, is not clear.

What do you think? Will you need to find another way to get around now? Let @johnstonjules know (or @maajtee, since she wrote it today). 

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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. Uber shuts down in Brussels from Friday evening

On Wednesday, the Brussels Court of Appeal ruled that drivers can no longer work with the Uber app as it stated that an earlier order against Uber – from 2015 – is still valid, the taxi platform announced. Read more.

To protest this court decision, which makes the app virtually unusable in Brussels, drivers using the Uber app held a demonstration and disrupted traffic in the capital on Thursday morning, which resulted in the closure of multiple tunnels. More about that here.

2. Belgium could enter ‘lockdown light’ soon, says Van Ranst

Belgium is likely to introduce a “lockdown light” in the fight against the fourth wave of coronavirus infections soon, according to virologist Marc Van Ranst. Read more.

3. Infected people can soon log high-risk contacts online themselves

Belgium is looking to streamline its test and trace system, as centres tasked with reaching out to high-risk contacts of infected people are completely overrun as a result of the worsening coronavirus situation. Read more.

4. Doctor suspected of falsifying 2,000 CSTs arrested

A doctor from the Liège region suspected of issuing 2,000 false coronavirus vaccination certificates to create fake Covid Safe Tickets (CST) was arrested on Wednesday evening. Read more.

5. Flemish cities light up to raise awareness of violence against women

Several cities in Flanders will be lighting up their monuments and buildings as part of a campaign to raise awareness of violence against women in Belgium. Read more.

6. ‘Important step’: Belgium to roll out 5G network next year

On Wednesday, Belgium finally reached an agreement on the auction of the 5G licences for superfast mobile internet as the Consultative Committee approved the legal framework for the network’s rollout next year. Read more.

7. Why Brussels still lags with vaccines

Belgium has one of the highest vaccination rates in the world, but in Brussels – particularly the poorer neighbourhoods on the west side of the canal – the numbers are shockingly low. Here’s more.

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