Belgium in Brief: Brussels Stays On Curfew

Belgium in Brief: Brussels Stays On Curfew

The Brussels coronavirus curfew, set to end on 19 November, will be extended until 13 December.

"The numbers in the Brussels-Capital Region are still concerning," a spokesperson for Vervoort told The Brussels Times. This news will see Brussels' curfew from 10:00 PM to 6:00 AM coincide with current lockdown measures, which are currently in place until 13 December.

This news piles further expectation on the next big meeting of the Consultative Committee, which is set to provide much-desired clarity on the approaching festive period.

Speaking on Wednesday evening, Prime Minister Alexander De Croo already hinted at the strategic thinking going on behind the scenes.

"The holidays are a period of being together and sharing beautiful memories. Surely we are not going to do that at a time when we are still dangerous to each other?" he said, but more on that below.

Now, on to the news.

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1. Deconfining for Christmas isn’t worth a third Coronavirus wave, warns PM

Belgium will likely be celebrating Christmas with only immediate family members Prime Minister Alexander De Croo has said, suggesting no impending relaxation of rules to any great extent.

“By Christmas, the coronavirus will still be there and people won’t have been vaccinated either,” De Croo told the talk show Vandaag on Wednesday. “The holidays are a period of being together and sharing beautiful memories. Surely we are not going to do that at a time when we are still dangerous to each other? Christmas this year will definitely not be the same as it used to be”. Read More.

2. Coronavirus: Belgium falls out of top ten most affected countries

Belgium has now officially dropped out of the top ten list of the European list of countries with the highest number of Covid-19 infections per inhabitants.

After being at the top of the list for several days at the end of Octoberthen falling to sixth, Belgium is now in 14th place, according to the most recent data from the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC). Read More

3. Over 400 fines for face mask violations on STIB network

Brussels’ public transport agency STIB has issued over 400 fines to non-mask wearers and has said inspections will be intensified in the coming weeks.

Since the general mask mandate came into force on 4 May and until late October, ticket inspectors have issued 439 fines to violators.

The number does not include fines issued by police, since STIB ticket inspectors can fine commuters over mask violations when they are conducting checks alone. Read more.

4. Antwerp governor calls for nationwide fireworks ban

Antwerp provincial governor Cathy Berx (CD&V) has called for a nationwide ban on fireworks during the coming festive season.

In general, the use of fireworks, whether by individuals or organised groups, requires permission from the local council, although the rule is rarely enforced. This year, the mayors of Antwerp province have unanimously agreed that no such permission will be granted. Read More.

5. Rue Neuve street art calls for fair pay for clothing workers

Rue Neuve, Brussels’ busiest shopping street, woke up this morning to find an enormous sign painted on the ground reading ‘Pay your workers’.

The street art, or graffiti if you will, was carried out overnight, and is the work of three groups: the street art collective pARTerre, the group achACT (Actions Consommateurs Travailleurs) and Schone Kleren Campagne. Read More.

6. Coronavirus: all infection figures continue to drop

Coronavirus infection figures in Belgium are continuing to drop across the board, according to Sciensano’s latest figures published on Thursday.

Between 9 and 15 November, an average of 4,755.6 new people tested positive per day over the past week, which is a 38% decrease compared to the week before. Read more.

7. Flemish government invests €100,000 in video games

Flanders’ video game sector will get a €100,000 boost from the Flemish government to bridge the coronavirus period, Youth Minister Benjamin Dalle announced.

Despite having grown significantly in recent years, the sector has also been hit by the pandemic. “Flanders has a thriving and innovative games sector,” Dalle said at the launch of the PlayStation 5, a new console. “The arrival of a new platform creates new technological applications and opportunities. It is important that we invest in our game companies.” Read more.

Jules Johnston

The Brussels Times

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