Share article:
Share article:

Belgium in Brief: The World Gets Louder

It’s official, Belgium’s terraces are going to reopen. Honestly, I was starting to think this day would never come.

Some might not think it’s enough, and it might not be a return to normal, but it’s going to bring something back to the streets.


A winter without terraces wasn’t so unusual to me. It’s cold, so nobody wants to be outside. I missed hot wine at Christmas markets, realising we would never get into a bar we wanted to and the madness of trying to get home for the holidays.

The streets of Belgium, however, mainly looked the same as usual.

I only started to notice the absence once the weather got a little better and nobody was outside. No laughter or clinking glasses, nowhere to sit, to read a book.

The world was so quiet, I hated it.

So I’m excited about a lot of things. I am excited for a return to normal, to seeing my friends and trying new things.

I’m also just excited about the world looking alive again. I’ve missed the noise.

Do you love the quiet? Or miss the noise? 

Let @johnstonjules know.

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. Confirmed: Belgium’s terraces will officially reopen on 8 May

Belgium’s Consultative Committee gave the official green light for the reopening of the country’s terraces from 8 May, Prime Minister Alexander De Croo announced. Read more.

2. Dutch terraces reopen: What’s happening in Belgium?

Credit: Jules Johnston/The Brussels Times

Dutch people flocked to cafés and restaurants on Wednesday, which partially reopened after a six-month closure.

So what’s going on over here in Belgium? 

3. Revealed: Belgium left hospitals off of list of essential services for cyber-protection

The Belgian government neglected to include hospitals on a list of essential services targetted for extra protection against cyber-attacks, De Tijd reveals.

The list was a feature of a 2016 European Union directive – the so-called Network and Information Systems Directive (NIS) – for the protection of essential services and businesses from the growing threat of cyber-attacks. Six sectors were involved: energy, transport, finance, drinking water, digital infrastructure and healthcare. Read More.

4. Belgium in 5th place in Europe’s vaccination ranking

Credit: Belga/Benoit Doppagne

Belgium is currently ranked in fifth place in Europe for having administered the most first doses of a coronavirus vaccine so far, according to the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) vaccine tracker. Read more.

5. ‘Free movement without discrimination’: EU agrees on Covid-19 travel pass

The European Parliament on Thursday agreed on its negotiating position on the proposal for a certificate to reaffirm the right to free movement in Europe during the pandemic. Read More.

6. All important coronavirus indicators slowly decreasing in Belgium

All figures indicating the situation of the epidemic in Belgium are slowly decreasing, according to the latest official figures published by the Sciensano public health institute on Thursday. Read More.

7. 120 cultural venues will defy rules and reopen early

Despite the current ban on indoor cultural events in place as a result of the global pandemic, 120 cultural venues in Brussels and Wallonia have said they will resume their programming on Friday after six months of closing their doors. Read More.

Latest news

Experts call for more widespread use of masks as figures rise
As coronavirus figures continue to rise, Belgian Prime Minister Alexander De Croo has suggested that people return to wearing masks when indoors with ...
Belgium wants to recover €420 million in wrongfully paid out coronavirus aid
The Belgian State intends to recover €420 million of unduly paid Covid-19 aid, La Libre Belgique reported on Thursday. The electronic Council of ...
Why the fight for transgender rights is polarising Europe 
Year after year, Samuel De Schepper would ask Santa Claus to bring him a penis for Christmas. Born female and attending an all girl’s Catholic ...
New offshore wind farm officially opened
Despite being operational since the end of 2020, the SeaMade offshore wind farm was officially inaugurated on Wednesday by Prime Minister Alexander ...
Contact tracers have no time for calls, only texts, amid rising cases
Contract tracers will no longer make phone calls to the high-risk contacts of people who test positive for the coronavirus beginning from Wednesday, ...
Belgium holds on to top spot in FIFA rankings despite recent losses
Once again, Belgium's Red Devils have held onto their position at the top of the world football rankings, according to an update released by the ...
Proximus pushes for high-speed internet in Brussels and Wallonia
Fifteen municipalities in Wallonia should soon have access to high-speed internet through the rollout of fibre optics in the region, telecoms giant ...
Why Belgium is regulating sex work
After decades of confusing rules and hypocritical policy, Belgium is finally regulating sex work by removing prostitution from the criminal law. ...
World’s largest chocolate warehouse opens in Flanders
On Thursday, Barry Callebaut – the largest global chocolate processor and manufacturer – opened the world's largest chocolate warehouse in Lokeren, ...
Belgium in Brief: Equal Opportunity To Dance
There's a phrase where I'm from, more often said in jest nowadays, but it came to my mind this morning: "Ye dancin'?" (Are you dancing?), one ...
Farmer discovers cocaine in banana boxes bought in Brussels
A Flemish farmer who purchased boxes of bananas at the market in Brussels on Tuesday came home to discover large amounts of cocaine packed among the ...
Changes to speed cameras increase likelihood of a ticket
Changes to the way speed cameras work in Flanders and Wallonia will increase the likelihood of receiving a ticket when cars pass them above the ...