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Belgium in Brief: Every Commute Needs A Coffee

Credit: Belga

It’s Monday morning (in case you missed that) and once upon a time that was the day I would have grabbed myself a “nice” coffee on the way into work.

It’s a simple thing, of course, but going out for a coffee is one of the things I find I still miss the most. The walk to it, pretending I might deviate from the 2 coffees I actually order and trying to convince myself that getting a brownie for breakfast is anything but a terrible idea.

Nowadays I just drink the coffee my machine makes, never deviate, and periodically eat a handful of M&M’s for breakfast while my partner looks on in horror.

Sure, the big news of the days is the new travel rules – the reopened borders – and more on that below. More information will come as the week develops, as always, so watch this space for more.

So, rather than stressing the same points, I want to know where you would be grabbing a cup if/when you can?

Got a spot for a Mocha in Matongé? A Lungo in Laeken? An Affogato at Atomium ? I could go on.

A Java at Jourdan? Ok, now I’m done.

So where is your spot? Get enough answers and we might even make a roundup.

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 containing all the stories you need to know from the day before. It goes great with your morning coffee. 

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:

1. Brussels’ Bru-VAX vaccine reservation system is online

As of Monday, people living in the Brussels Capital Region can use the Bru-VAX reservation system to register for a coronavirus vaccine appointment.

The digital tool, hosted on the Doctena platform, will replace the current system which involves people who are eligible for a vaccine receiving a letter with a code to make an appointment with. Read more.

2. Non-essential travel ban lifted today: Controls on testing ‘could take place’

As announced by the Consultative Committee on Wednesday, the non-essential travel ban to and from Belgium has been lifted from Monday, but controls on testing upon return will be monitored more strictly.

Travellers will now be called twice on their return in an effort to better follow up people who have been abroad, said Karine Moykens, head of the testing and tracing task force, in Sudpresse on Monday. Read more.

3. Terraces ‘guaranteed’ to reopen on 8 May, say Francophone Liberals

Belgium’s terraces are “guaranteed” to reopen on 8 May, regardless of what Federal Health Minister Frank Vandenbroucke says, according to the Francophone liberal MR party.

On Saturday, the group leader of the MR party in the Chamber, Denis Ducarme that he had particular difficulty with “the condescending tone that Vandenbroucke used after the Consultative Committee to say that even the relaxations for the hospitality industry and the contact professions are not set in stone.” Read More.

4. Thousands visit Hallerbos despite pleas to stay away

Thousands of people visited the famed Hallerbos bluebell wood yesterday, ignoring pleas from the authorities to stay away.

The 552-hectare wood on the outskirts of Halle in Flemish Brabant is famous for its extensive carpet of bluebells, which bloom in late April or early May. Read more.

5. Train conductor attacked after reminding young people of mandatory mask rule

A train conductor was attacked by several young people at Gare de Bruxelles-Nord yesterday evening after reminding them of the rules requiring them to wear a facemask.

The man filed a complaint with police, with the support of the SNCB, according to Bruzz, which has a video of the event. Read More.

6. Namur runs load tests on its aerial tramway

Load tests are being conducted on Namur’s aerial tramway with a view to its certification, its city council said on Saturday.

Dry-runs were conducted for days on the sky tram, which is scheduled to be inaugurated in May. On Saturday, the carrier basket was loaded with bags of water to simulate the weight they would carry when operational. Read More.

7. Belgian-owned naturist resort tops international review

A Belgian-owned naturist resort in Spain has been given first place in an international review of venues conducted by the Dutch naturist federation.

Set in the hills of Alicante, the Lavinia Naturist Resort – ran by a couple from Beveren (East Flanders) – was voted the best of 180 different nudist venues in the 2021 awards. Read More.

Jules Johnston
The Brussels Times

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