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Cheatsheet: What changes on 1 July?

As of 1 July, Belgium will be undergoing substantial changes, not just as the result of a new month, but also new coronavirus measures implemented country – and Europe – wide.

No Entry No More

Perhaps the biggest news to come out of this week has seen member states asked to start lifting travel restrictions on 15 countries, when the EU’s external borders reopen from 1 July.

Based on several criteria and conditions, such as the epidemiological situation and containment measures, EU member states should start lifting the travel restrictions at the external borders.

Travel restrictions should be lifted for residents of Algeria, Australia, Canada, Georgia, Japan, Montenegro, Morocco, New Zealand, Rwanda, Serbia, South Korea, Thailand, Tunisia, Uruguay and China (subject to confirmation of reciprocity).

As expected, the United States is not included on the list of countries that will be approved.

This list will be reviewed and, could be updated every two weeks, the Council announced.

Phase 4 Begins

Easily forgotten amid discussions of flights and borders, 1 June also marks the beginning of Phase 4 of deconfinement in Belgium.

The key part of this phase is the partial returning to a form of normal, with larger social circles approved and reopening of most businesses. The full list – of course – is a little more complex, so read more here.

Drinking Ban

Drinking in public will soon cause for a €50 fine in certain parts of Anderlecht, following a new rule announced by the mayor of Anderlecht, Fabrice Cumps.

The ban – which is valid from 1 July to 30 September – comes after several complaints made to police over public alcohol consumption in certain areas of the municipality “where problems have been identified”.

As such, drinking will now be banned around in part of Cureghem (aproximately between Midi station and Chaussée de Mons via the Square de l’Aviation), in the centre of the town (Rue Wayez, Place de la Résistance, Place de la Vaillance, De Linde and Parc Astrid) and on the side of La Roue – Bizet.

Drinking also remains banned in the pedestrian zone in Brussels 1000.

Contactless paying

Travellers on the Brussels public transport system will not need a metro ticket to ride, following the launch of contactless payment in the capital to serve more casual riders.

The system – which has been undergoing tests by operator STIB for months – will take advantage of new terminals which have appeared in stations and vehicles over the past months. As of 1 July, travellers will be able to pay for their tickets directly with their bank card (debit or credit), their smartphone or smartwatch, equipped with the contactless payment function, by simply holding it against the validation device.

Organ Donations

People wishing to become organ donors after their death will be able to register their intention on the online health portal Ma Santé from 1 July.

This means they will no longer need to go to their City Council Office to do so, although they will still be able to do so or to state their intention through their attending physician.

The system will also allow people to determine what will become of their other remains, such as bones or blood vessels.

Revenge Porn Changes

People in Belgium who have been a victim of “revenge porn” will soon have another method to seek legal action against perpetrators in a confidential way.

The Institute for the Equality of Women and Men (IEFH) will see its legal competence extended on Wednesday to support victims of revenge pornography, the institute said in a statement Tuesday. It will thus be able to give confidential advice to victims of porn revenge or take legal action.

Pornographic revenge or “revenge porn” consists of disseminating sexually explicit images of a person without their permission, explains the IEFH. These images may or may not have been made with the victim’s consent. The dissemination of these pornographic images often has a malicious purpose, to hurt, punish or silence the victim.

Going to Greece

On Monday, the government issued a new protocol, requiring travellers to complete an online questionnaire 48 hours prior to their arrival in Greece.

Travellers will have to provide detailed information on their point of departure, the (duration of) previous stays in other countries, and the address of their stay while in Greece. They will then receive a personal QR code, based on the data provided, which will be checked on arrival.

Jules Johnston & Maïthé Chini
The Brussels Times


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