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Belgium in Brief: Is All That Pizza Yours?

Credit: Belga/Pxhere

“Open up, we know you have enough pizza for 10 people in there.”

A ridiculous statement, but then again what hasn’t been borderline ridiculous this year? We’re actually living in the era where ordering a questionably large amount of takeout food won’t just leave you unable to make eye contact with the delivery driver, but labelled as a potential rulebreaker by authorities.

This news – part of a renewed push for enforcement in Antwerp region – comes from Antwerp governor Cathy Berx, who told HLN there will be a strong commitment to enforcing current rules.

Details on new rules are thin at this time, but HLN confirmed that door to door singing – a common sight at new year – will be banned.

On the enforcement side, however, the push is more clear, with extra shifts expected to keep an eye on things. Things such as “how many people will be gathered in the houses” and “how many pizzas will be delivered” will be checked, the governor explained.

Maybe you just wanted leftovers.

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. Brussels will vaccinate 45,000 people by end of March

Around 45,000 people in Brussels will be vaccinated against Covid-19 in the first three months of 2021, Brussels Health Minister Alain Maron told Bel RTL.

Brussels will start vaccinating in early January, after a vaccine is approved by the European Medicines Agency, as “we want to be assured that it’s safe, that it’s reliable,” Maron said. Read more.

2. Antwerp could ban non-essential travel for Christmas

Residents of Antwerp province could be facing stricter measures – or at the very least stricter enforcement – in an effort to prevent a third coronavirus wave from Christmas celebrations.

Antwerp mayors are currently meeting with governor Cathy Berx, and have already decided there will be a strong commitment to enforcing current rules, but there could be more to come, Berx told HLN. Read More.

3. Anti-Semitic announcements on SNCB train: Investigation launched

Belgian train operator SNCB has launched an official investigation into an anti-Semitic incident on a train from Antwerp to Mechelen.

According to reports, 4 people had access to the intercom on the train, which they used to broadcast anti-Semitic messages to passengers. The precise details of the message have not been shared with the media. Read more.

4. Brexit: Charles II note to Bruges may not save fishing industry

A special privilege granted by Charles II to Flemish fishermen may not be enough to protect the industry from the effects of Brexit, according to a law professor.

The document – the Privilegie der Visscherie or Fisheries Privilege – was signed by the English king in 1666, in recognition of the welcome he had received from the city of Bruges while staying there in exile after his father, Charles I, was deposed and executed. Read More.

5. Police can enter homes to check if rules are respected, Interior Minister says

Belgian police will be able to enter people’s homes in some cases to check if people are violating the coronavirus measures for social gatherings, according to Interior Minister Annelies Verlinden.

“If there is a serious threat to physical integrity, which could happen in the event of the spread of the coronavirus, the police could enter [homes] without a search warrant,” Verlinden said on the Flemish television programme ‘De Afspraak’. Read more.

6. Belgian wins €5.7 million in EuroMillions draw

A Belgian was one of three people to win just over €5.7 million in the EuroMillions draw on Tuesday.

The Belgian guessed five numbers correctly as well as one of two stars, while nobody guessed all numbers and stars correctly. Read More.

7. Flemish police will use drones during end-of-year holidays

Drones will be flown over several Flemish municipalities during the end-of-year celebrations, as police strive to ensure coronavirus regulations are followed.

The police zone of Carma will deploy the drones to facilitate enforcement of the coronavirus ban on setting off fireworks. Read More.

Jules Johnston
The Brussels Times

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