Germany just announced that it won’t be opening borders with the UK until next year, but here in Belgium, they’re going to open in 12h.
To the Brits who live here, that’s a weight off knowing they can come back, but it also raises the question of what is Belgium doing to make this a smart option?
In the face of the rapid spread of a new strain of coronavirus in the UK, Belgium has said it will strictly monitor the use of Passenger Locator Form, both on departure and arrival.
Great, in principle, but it relies on people being honest – which is a cause for concern for some. As the government mainly relies on people’s honesty, with no real way of checking, according to Jochen Nijs, a doctor at the Sint-Trudo Hospital in Limburg.
From the government side, it hopes it can count on people’s “civic spirit,” and that people take their responsibility, with their fellow citizens in mind.
It’s time for the news.
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Belgium’s bars and restaurants will likely not reopen before March if the infection and hospitalisation figures continue to evolve at this rate, according to prediction models by several experts.
In the best-case scenario, Belgium will not reach the set thresholds – of 800 infections and 75 hospitalisations per day – before relaxations can be considered before February, according to prediction models by biostatistician Geert Molenberghs (UHasselt and KU Leuven) and Niel Hens (UAntwerp), among others. Read more.
Belgium’s self-assessment system of determining whether red-zone travellers have to quarantine is being heavily criticised, as many do not trust travellers to answer honestly.
Through a number of questions on the mandatory Passenger Location Form (PLF) that travellers entering Belgium have to complete, the authorities check whether or not the traveller should quarantine for seven days, and undergo a Covid-19 test.
Travellers opting to leave Belgium for the festive period in the face of government recommendations have faced criticism online, after photos of Charleroi Airport packed with passengers surfaced this weekend.
Posted on Twitter, the photos show crowds of people standing close together in the departure hall of the airport, which saw nearly 16,000 passengers on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Read More.
A Brussels nursing home will be among the first four where Covid-19 vaccines will be administered from Monday, Belga News Agency reports based on a reliable source.
Besides the nursing home in Brussels, three more will receive the first vaccines on Monday – one in Flanders, one in Wallonia, and one in the German-speaking community – though the exact locations are yet to be confirmed. Read more.