Belgium in Brief: Open Terraces For Minimal Easter Mischief?

Belgium in Brief: Open Terraces For Minimal Easter Mischief?

Picture this. It’s sunny, and you’re sitting outside with a few friends having a drink.

Then someone coughs, but the entire square doesn’t go as dead quiet as a saloon in an old Western movie when the hero walks in.

According to some, that world (well, maybe minus the Clint Eastwood-esque reactions) could be the one we live in soon – potentially in the coming weeks.

This weekend, mayor of Antwerp Bart De Wever threw his weight behind a plan to allow businesses to serve outdoors on their terraces by the Easter Holidays, as he believes it could prevent people from gathering in parks and cities during the break.

Flemish Minister-President Jan Jambon made the same point during a VTM News broadcast on Sunday, saying “by putting those people (who gather in the parks) on the terraces of the catering industry, the manager of the restaurant will make sure that it is done in accordance with the measures.”

But, of course, not everyone is so happy with the idea.

Both Mohamed Ridouani, the Leuven mayor, and Mathias De Clercq, Mayor of Ghent, said reopening terraces could be a difficult issue, adding that the evolution of the virus must be considered to avoid the third wave.

Virologist Steven Van Gucht (earlier this month) was even more direct – making it very clear that, even though people would be sitting outdoors, the risk of transmitting the virus still exists.

“When talking with a person around the same table for maybe an hour, there is still a very real chance that you will transmit the virus,” he said.

So what do you think?
Do we need somewhere to go? 
Is a terrace that place? 
How do you think the rules are going so far ( like larger outdoor bubbles?) 

Let @johnstonjules know on Twitter.

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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:

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Flemish Public Health Minister Wouter Beke said that every person living in Flanders aged over 18 years old should receive a dose of a coronavirus vaccine by 11 July this year, providing everything goes to plan.

He emphasised that if the deliveries of the vaccines run smoothly, every adult in Flanders will receive at least one shot by this date, he said during the ‘De zevende dag’ program on Sunday. Read More.

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5. Netherlands stops use of AstraZeneca coronavirus vaccine after reports of side effects

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6. Telenet confirms launch of Belgian 5G network

Belgian provider Telenet has confirmed the rollout of its 5G network by announcing Ericsson, Nokia and Google Cloud as partners in the deployment of the network.

The companies were chosen “after a thorough selection procedure, taking into consideration technological, operational, financial, security and sustainability criteria,” Telenet said in a press release on Monday. Read More.

7. Police caught 19 car thieves in Brussels in February

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Jules Johnston
The Brussels Times

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