Share article:
Share article:

Belgium in Brief: What Changes In September?

Credit: Belga

It’s already September tomorrow. Surprised how quickly that came about? I know we are.

As with the start of every month in Belgium, September brings a bunch of new changes to the country, ranging from new rules on hunting and a lower speed limit being pushed out in Brussels, to the news that retailers will no longer be able to turn a blind eye to customers using meal cheques to buy non-food items.

These changes also reach coronavirus measures within the country, with the announcement that there is no longer any obligation for people to wear face masks on the seafront along the coast, although a mask must be carried on the person. Carl De Caluwé, governor of West-Flanders, called on visitors and residents alike to observe social distancing.

For a recap on what else is changing, click here.

In other news, Brussels starts to show promising figures as the signs point a successful push back of the coronavirus this summer across the country, while the PM begins to consider her future.

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 average of new coronavirus cases falls to 430 per day

An average of 430 people per day tested positive for the new coronavirus (Covid-19) in Belgium during the past week, according to the latest figures by Sciensano on Monday.

The trend of new infections per day decreased by 14%, over the 7-day period from 21 to 27 August. The average number of new confirmed coronavirus infections in Belgium is continuing its decreasing trend. Read More.

2. Wilmès ready to resign without majority backing

Prime Minister Sophie Wilmès is ready to resign if she doesn’t re-obtain the confidence of a majority in Parliament, she explained on Monday.

“If all the parties express that they do not wish to renew confidence in the government, we must take responsibility. I don’t have a problem doing that, it’s democracy,” Wilmès said. Read more.

3. Coronavirus: Belgium will now update travel guidelines every Wednesday

The weekly update of Belgium’s coronavirus travel advice will now be issued mid-week in order to give people more space to organise potential last-minute weekend returns.

Foreign Affairs Minister Philippe Goffin announced the changes on Saturday, following calls from the industry for authorities to give more leeway to travellers navigating shifting country situations. Read more.

4. Belgian groceries up to 10% more expensive due to pandemic

The government bureau for statistics, Belstat has shown that prices have risen by up to 10% as a result of changes to consumer behaviour and supply chain during the pandemic.

Increases have been recorded for fruit (+10%), fruit juice (+9%) and vegetables (+5%). Similar increases were seen for products like breakfast cereals (+8.6%), ice cream (+7.6%), fish (+5.5%) and meat (+3.3%). Read more.

5. Belgium’s collective efforts this summer are paying off

The collective efforts of the population in Belgium to push back the coronavirus this summer have made a big difference in the falling number of new infections per day, health officials said during a press conference on Monday. Read more.

6. Brussels records drop in new weekly cases at the weekend

The average number of new weekly coronavirus infections in Brussels dropped for the first time in days during the weekend, figures show.

On Sunday, the weekly average of new infections stood at 112 per day, down from the 130 recorded late last week, a drop of around 13%.

With the drop in new cases, the number of municipalities above the new-case alarm threshold set by regional officials has also dropped from 13 to 12. Read more.

7. Brussels moves to ban dolphin keeping in the region

The Brussels government has announced that it is working on a ban on the keeping of cetaceans and marine predators on the territory, responding to changing opinions over animal welfare. Read more.

Jules Johnston
The Brussels Times

Latest news

England now accepting cheaper Covid tests from fully vaccinated travellers
Fully vaccinated travellers who enter England from non-red countries will only be required to book a lateral flow test to take following their ...
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 ...
Federal museums to receive €2.9 million booster shot
Federal museums will receive an additional €2.9 million in support from the government for the fiscal year 2021, of which the first payouts will be ...
European Parliament emphasises healthy food and animal welfare in EU Farm to Fork Strategy
The European Parliament adopted this week a resolution on the EU Farm to Fork Strategy calling for a fair, healthy and environmentally-friendly food ...
Threats of strike action could affect Brussels’ STIB network from Monday
Brussels public transport operator STIB's trams, buses and metros could be affected from Monday 25 October onwards as the union representing the ...
Number of international adoptions in Belgium continues to drop
The number of regulated international adoptions authorised by Belgium further dropped in 2020, continuing an ongoing decreasing trend. Last ...
Disaster drill with emergency services held at Brussels Airport
Around 300 people took part in a disaster drill held was organised on Saturday by Brussels Airport in collaboration with external emergency services ...
Austria presents bill to legalise euthanasia
Austria’s government on Saturday presented its proposals for legalising assisted suicide, in response to a Constitutional Court ruling that the ...
Brussels’ Museum Night Fever draws in some 12,000 visitors
Some 12,000 participants took part in the 14th edition of Museum Night Fever in Brussels, with the 29 participating museums filled to the maximum ...
Relaunch of 10,000 steps campaign to get Flemish people moving
The Flemish government is breathing new life into its 10,000 steps campaign to get people in the region moving after a recent survey found that a ...
‘No scientific basis’ for giving everyone third dose, vaccine expert says
The head of Belgium's Vaccination Taskforce has argued that there is not enough scientific evidence to support the Flemish government's decision to ...
Brussels bars linked to alleged sexual assault vouch to improve women’s safety
The management of the two bars in Ixelles, which made headlines in recent days after several young women reported that they had been drugged then ...