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Belgium in Brief: Time To Travel, Right?

The news every expat (and Belgian) has secretly been waiting on has finally arrived, but it hasn’t exactly brought comfort.

Belgium will officially lift its ban on non-essential travel abroad after the Easter holidays, the new Ministerial Decree published on Sunday confirmed.

Unfortunately, just because we can travel doesn’t necessarily mean we should. In fact, not a lot has changed yet.

The previous rules for travel will come back into force, meaning people in Belgium will be allowed to go on holiday to other EU countries again – but everything else is still looking pretty bleak.

According to PM Alexander De Croo, travel remains strongly discouraged. Anyone going on holiday will – hopefully – be subject to “other systems to test and quarantine”.

And any more precise information – like how will the UK be handled – remains pretty unclear. Guess we have a few weeks to work it out.

So, today’s question is simple.

Would you travel at the moment?

Yes, or no?

Let @johnstonjules know on Twitter.

BUT WAIT, one last thing: Want news from The Brussels Times in your inbox every morning? Sign up for The Recap, a free daily newsletter launching later this month containing all the stories you need to know from the day before. It goes great with your morning coffee. 

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1. Confirmed: Belgium will lift non-essential travel ban on 19 April

Belgium will officially lift its ban on non-essential travel abroad after the Easter holidays, the new Ministerial Decree published on Sunday confirmed.

The latest update of the Ministerial Decree published in the Belgian Official Journal by Interior Minister Annelies Verlinden states that the article declaring the travel ban will be replaced from Monday 19 April. Read More.

2. Cheat Sheet: What relaxations have been postponed and what remains the same?

Credit: Belga

Belgium will be postponing several relaxations planned from 1 April as part of the “outdoor plan,” Prime Minister Alexander De Croo announced during a press conference on Friday. Click here to find out more.

3. Activists highlight Brussels’ lack of coronavirus information in Dutch

Leaflets titled ‘First Aid for Dutch Ignorance’ were handed out by activists at the Merode coronavirus testing centre in Brussels to draw attention to its failure to provide information to Dutch-speaking people. Read More.

4. Belgium needs a short ‘real’ lockdown, warns expert

Credit: Jules Johnston/The Brussels Times

Belgium needs a short but real lockdown to bring the coronavirus figures back down, according to professor and dean of the health faculty at VUB Dirk Devroey.

The Consultative Committee’s decision to postpone a number of relaxations initially planned for April and task the education ministers to draw up a plan for schools do not go far enough to stop the sharp rise in figures, he said. Read More.

5. New coronavirus variant discovered by university in Belgium

A new mutation of the coronavirus (Covid-19) has been detected in Belgium by the university in Liège (ULiège) and currently accounts for around 4% of the infections in the country. Read more.

6. Brussels attacks: victims take Belgian state to court

Belgium is being taken to court by 19 victims of the terror attacks on Brussels Airport and Maelbeek metro station on 22 March 2016.

“We accuse the government of a lack of information, a lack of help and inadequate legislation,” said Nic Reynaert, the victims’ lawyer and a victim himself. Read More.

7. Vaccinations: Police allowed to jump the queue ahead of seniors

Communal authorities throughout Wallonia and Brussels are routinely giving police officers precedence for vaccinations ahead of the over-65s, according to an investigation by Het Laatste Nieuws newspaper. Read More.

Jules Johnston
The Brussels Times

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