Belgium in Brief: What Do YOU Want?

Belgium in Brief: What Do YOU Want?

Belgium’s Hyper-Focused attitude towards certain aspects of the coronavirus crisis is having an interesting effect, as those not in the light of the current obsession are left with a relative lack of info and updates on life-changing topics.

Take, for instance, contact professions. They want more information about when they could open because they feel the current goals are not achievable. Bars want to open again, of course, but they also just want to know a timeframe for when they could open.

This lack of information shows a major issue with the hyper-focus approach.

Everything is either:

Short Term: “WE MUST DO THIS NOW OR ALL HELL WILL BREAK LOOSE,” said in various interviews by experts you see more of than your family.

Long Term: “Things will get better,” said in a soft, authoritative voice.

What’s missing is the medium term, the most important one for people being able to survive the short and believe the long. People just want to know what to expect.

One caveat, however. The ministerial decree published after the previous Consultative Committee has already extended the current measures until 1 March, meaning anyone hoping for changes in February could be in for a disappointment.

So what do YOU want to happen?
What do YOU think isn’t working?
Got something to add?
Let @johnstonjules know on Twitter.

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1. De Croo’s call for non-essential travel ban at European Summit goes unopposed

Prime Minister Alexander De Croo has received no opposition from his European colleagues to the announcement that Belgium is preparing to ban non-essential travel until the end of the Carnival holidays, Belga News Agency reports.

Several countries such as Austria, Denmark, Finland and Ireland have even supported the idea. Read more.

2. Consultative Committee: What Belgium Wants

A lot of time in past weeks has been devoted to what Belgium’s Consultative Committee plans to discuss.

Tabled issues, however, are not the only changes people are hoping for. Here are the big issues that organisations, companies and independents are hoping could see change today. Read More.

3. Mask obligation ‘unconstitutional,’ says Brussels court

A police court magistrate in Brussels has acquitted a man charged with failing to wear a face mask, arguing that the obligation to do so is unconstitutional.

Cases before the police court are restricted to minor charges, including traffic offences, and in this case the obligation throughout the Brussels region to wear a face mask at all times in public. Read More.

4. Man impaled on fence at Brussels’ Botanique

The Brussels fire brigade found a man who had impaled his leg on a fence around the Botanical Garden in Saint-Josse-ten-Noode on Friday around 6:00 AM.

The circumstances of the incident are unclear, but the man was impaled, and the end of the bar went all the way through his leg, according to Walter Derieuw, spokesperson for the fire brigade. Read More.

5. High-risk contacts will also be tested on day 1 and 7 from Monday

Everyone who has had a high-risk contact will also have to be tested for Covid-19 on day 1 and 7 of their quarantine from Monday, health officials announced during a press conference on Friday.

Belgium’s interministerial conference on public health recently decided to change the country’s testing policy again, making sure that more people get tested, said virologist and interfederal Covid-19 spokesperson Steven Van Gucht.  Read more.

6. Pro-vegan plot in Flemish TV soap earns channel €25,000 fine

A plotline in favour of a vegan diet in the daily TV soap Familie on the Flemish commercial channel VTM has earned its parent company, DPG Media, a fine of €25,000 from the Flemish media regulator.

Familie is one of two daily soaps engaged in a ferocious ratings battle, fighting with its rival, Thuis on the public broadcaster VRT. Both are what used to be called kitchen-sink dramas, as the names – Family and Home respectively – suggest. Read More.

7. Snow expected in Belgium this weekend

Snow is expected in Belgium during the weekend and at the beginning of next week, according to the Royal Meteorological Institute (RMI).

The weather will become generally dry on Friday, with an initial heavy cloud cover making way for clearer skies from the west. However, south-east Belgium could experience rain or even snow coming from a low cloud cover. Read More.

Jules Johnston
The Brussels Times


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