A mass strike in Belgium feels – somewhat bizarrely – like a return to some normality in Belgium. Only it isn’t.
Sure, many of us have missed the early morning realisation that we don’t have a way to get to work. There are still people commuting, but certainly not the masses cramming onto the one train still running an hour as we realised what was happening.
We didn’t have to make a frantic call to the bosses saying we’re “going to work from home” because we already are. I’ve not even seen anyone Tweeting about their work from home setup (but seriously, @ me, because mine still needs work).
Now, this isn’t just a transport strike – see more info here – but that’s often where it hits people the hardest.
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From mid-April, coronavirus self-tests will become available in pharmacists in Belgium, but in Germany, people have already been able to buy them in most supermarkets over the past month.
In early March, when some German supermarket chains became the firsts to start selling the self-tests – in packs of five tests for €24.99 – they sold out in minutes, in part because many people from the Netherlands crossed the border to buy large numbers of them. Read more.
Although the number of hospitalisations and deaths as a result of coronavirus continues to increase, Belgium should reach the peak of infection rates by the end of this week, according to Geert Molenberghs, professor of biostatistics at UHasselt.
The increase in the infection rate is starting to slow down in the country, as this week a 22% increase was reported, down from 42% a week ago, he said. Read More.
Non-essential stores in Belgium, which had to switch to appointment-based shopping last weekend, saw a 60 to 85% drop in their turnover, according to a survey from trade federation Comeos.
On Wednesday last week, the government decided to introduce stricter coronavirus fighting measures on the sector following an advanced Consultative Committee meeting, which meant that from Saturday, non-essential shops could remain open, but by appointment only. Read more.
Belgium will see some sunshine this week, with a dry forecast and warm temperatures ahead.
It is expected to be dry and sunny on Monday afternoon, according to the Royal Meteorological Institute (RMI), with a few high-level clouds in the sky. Belgians will be able to ditch their jackets, with temperatures ranging from 15°C in the Ardennes to 19°C in the centre. Read More.