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    Belgium in Brief: Waiting

    Credit: Belga/JJ

    The news this week has been characterised by one very simple thing.

    Waiting.

    Belgium as a country is facing rising coronavirus figures, and if the crisis so far is anything to go by, rising figures will mean changes to measures. What those measures will be, however, is anyone’s guess.

    So, we are waiting. Waiting to find out what’s going to change. Waiting for test results. Waiting for the end of quarantines, travel bans and orange zones.

    Waiting for a new government, for the next meeting of the National Security Council and what that brings.

    While we wait, however, let’s have a look at what else is in the news.

    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 breaks 700 new coronavirus cases per day

    An average of 746.3 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 Tuesday.

    The trend of new infections per day increased by 51% over the 7-day period from 5 to 11 September, meaning that the rise is accelerating. Read More.

    2. Over 200,000 Belgians should be in post-travel quarantine at the moment

    Over 200,000 people should be in quarantine at the moment in Belgium after having returned to the country from a red or orange travel zone.

    Over the past two weeks, 43,000 people have declared they are returning to the country after a stay in a red travel zone, according to figures by the federal public health service (FPS Health). Read more.

    3. No new coronavirus measures this week despite rising figures

    Despite several experts expressing their concerns about the rapid increase in new coronavirus cases in the country, Belgium’s National Security Council will not gather earlier than planned to adjust the current measures.

    The next National Security Council remains on the agenda for the week of 21 September, as initially announced by Prime Minister Sophie Wilmès, and will not be held earlier, according to reports. Read more.

    4. An urban safari in the ugliest city in the world

    Standing on the edge of a canal, surrounded by an oppressive wasteland of industrial decline, it’s not particularly hard to see why Charleroi is often considered the black sheep of Belgian cities.

    In the latest edition of The Brussels Times magazine, we look at why that is (and isn’t) totally accurate. Read more.

    5. Belgium lacks ‘clarity and transparency’ on Covid figures

    The Belgian government has been called out for a lack of clarity and transparency concerning coronavirus figures in a new letter from several medical experts at the UGhent and the University Hospital of Ghent.

    According to the letter’s signatories, which include the dean of the Medicine Faculty and the head doctor at the Ghent University Hospital, there is a need to adjust how figures are communicated. Read more.

    6. Free Covid-19 tests available at Brussels Airport

    Being tested for the coronavirus free of charge is possible at Brussels Airport from now on, as the on-site Covid-19 testing centre opened its doors on Monday morning.

    Passengers returning from a red zone can be tested upon arrival with their text message prescription code, and will receive their test result within 24 hours. Read more.

    7. Weather report: 34 degrees expected today

    The temperature could rise up to 34 degrees in Belgium today, according to the morning forecast by the Royal Meteorological Institute (RMI).

    Tuesday is expected to be the warmest day of the week, with temperatures not exceeding 30 degrees for the rest of the week.

    For Tuesday, the RMI issued a code yellow for almost the entire country, with only the coast remaining green. Read more.

    Jules Johnston
    The Brussels Times