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Belgium in Brief: Moving Your Ski Trip To Easter?

Credit: Belga

For many people in Belgium, the start of the carnival holidays also means a traditional skiing trip to snowy mountains peaks, but this year will be different.

We have known that non-essential journeys to and from Belgium would remain banned during this week-long break from school and work since the end of January. However, many have now set their sights on the Easter holidays for a chance to strap on their skis again.

But last week, the Consultative Committee decided to extend the country’s measures to battle the coronavirus, as published in the 28 October Ministerial Decree, until at least 1 April, a decision which also included the non-essential travel ban.

Just two days after the ban is expected to be lifted, on Saturday 3 April, the Easter holidays will kick off. This doesn’t leave a lot of breathing space for people to make last-minute changes to their plans in case some new measures are announced.

What do you think? Will you risk making plans for the Easter holidays?
Let @johnstonjules know on Twitter.

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1. Belgium’s ban on non-essential travel extended until 1 April

When the Consultative Committee extended Belgium’s coronavirus fighting measures until 1 April last Friday, that extension also included the ban on non-essential travel.

The ban – which was set to be in place until 1 March – was extended until 1 April following the most recent Committee, along with the other coronavirus measures published in the 28 October Ministerial Decree, the cabinet of Interior Minister Annelies Verlinden confirmed to The Brussels Times. Read More.

2. Cheat Sheet: What can you do over carnival holidays

As Belgium’s carnival holidays kick off, the options for activities and journeys remain limited, with many of the country’s coronavirus fighting measures still in place.

Skiing holidays, a traditional journey for many people during the week-long break from school and work (from Saturday 13 to Sunday 21 February) remain forbidden this year, but here are some other options. Read more.

3. Parents of child shot dead by police may stay indefinitely

The parents of Mawda, the two-year-old killed when shots were fired during a police chase, have been given leave to remain in Belgium indefinitely, migration minister Sammy Mahdi (CD&V) confirmed.

Mawda and her Iraqi-Kurdish family were among a group of migrants being brought by traffickers through Belgium to the United Kingdom in May 2018 when the van they were in was chased by police. One shot was fired, and hit Mawda, being carried in the front seat. She died at the scene. Read more.

4. Many Belgian sceptics fear one vaccine, not all of them

Half of those in Belgium hesitant about vaccinations against Covid-19 are doubtful of one specific vaccine, not vaccines as a whole, new data has shown.

This information comes from the thirtieth edition of the Great Corona Survey conducted by the University of Antwerp, which saw over 20,000 people participate in the fortnightly survey conducted by the University of Antwerp in collaboration with UHasselt, KU Leuven and ULB. Read More.

5. Belgium will start AstraZeneca vaccinations today

Belgium’s first AstraZeneca vaccinations against coronavirus (Covid-19) will be administered in Antwerp starting from Friday, the hospital network ZNA announced on Thursday.

In a pilot project, 200 Flemish first-line care providers, ranging from general practitioners and pharmacists to home care workers and dentists will receive the first jabs at the vaccination village on the Spoor Oost site in Borgerhout, Antwerp. Read More.

6. Brussels sports centre opens to the homeless during the day

As the lack of available shelters for the homeless begins to turn into a crisis with the arrival of freezing temperatures and snow this week, the Brussels neighbourhood of Forest has converted a sports centre into a day-shelter.

Homeless people looking to escape the cold will be able to get coffee and soup in the cafeteria there between 9:00 AM and 5:00 PM on weekdays, Bruzz reports. There are also cots, blankets, and sleeping bags available. Read More.

7. Dog rescued after chasing bird into frozen pond in Brussels

Firefighters rescued a dog that fell into one of the ponds at Neerpede in Anderlecht while chasing after a bird this afternoon, according to Walter Derieuw, spokesperson for the Brussels fire brigade.

The two-year-old dog, an Akita Inu, fell through the ice on the frozen pond and was transported to the SRPA in Veeweyde with mild hypothermia. Read More.

Maïthé Chini
The Brussels Times