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Belgium in Brief: No News, Travel Blues?

If anyone is looking towards Friday for information on how the Digital Green Certificate will work in Belgium, I have some bad news for you. 

Sorry to say, but you might have to wait just a little longer, as Belgium’s next Consultative Committee has been officially postponed to Friday 4 June, but with seemingly good reason. 

The meeting – which was meant to happen this week – will be delayed to allow the authorities “to take sufficient account of the impact of the European agreement on the Digital Green Certificate” for travel within the EU during the pandemic.

Additionally, the Recommendation of the European Commission – which is expected to be published later this week – can also be considered when working out the Belgian take on the Certificate.

Now, this sounds like a lot of jargon – and it kind of is – but what it boils down to is: 

Right now, they don’t have enough information, and going off without enough could end up with broken promises and hopes dashed.

And rage. So much rage. 

So instead, I guess we wait. 

We’re almost at the end of May, but I think I can wait a few more weeks if it means we might get some meaningful news. 

After all, we’ve waited this long, but what do you think? 

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. 200-year-old archaeological find in Flanders revealed to be hernia truss

For the first time in Flanders, a hernia truss has been excavated. This already happened 15 years ago in the city of Aalst, but it took until now for archaeologists to discover the story behind the object. Read more.

2. Timeline: The hunt for Jürgen Conings

Credit: Belga

A manhunt for career soldier Jürgen Conings (46) has been underway in Belgium since 17 May, when Conings allegedly stole an arsenal of deadly weapons from a military barracks and went on the lam. Here’s how we got here.

3. Night trains between Belgium and Austria will restart tonight

Night trains between Belgium and Austria will start running again from Vienna on Tuesday evening, after a break of more than six months. The first “Nightjet” from Vienna will arrive in Brussels on Wednesday morning, a spokesperson for the Austrian railway company ÖBB confirmed. Read more.

4. Bpost finds postcard stamped in 1936

Photo from Bpost

Workers at a bpost sorting office in Liège discovered a postcard stamped in 1936.

“The card ended up in the sorting bins of Liege’s Rive Gauche office, where sorting is still done by hand,” Laura Cerrada Crespo, bpost’s spokesperson, explained to RTL. Read more.

5. Average number of new coronavirus cases increasing

The average number of people testing positive for coronavirus in Belgium is slowly increasing, according to the latest figures from the Sciensano Public Health Institute updated on Tuesday morning. Read More.

6. New crisis communication strategy should reach all Belgian residents

A new communication strategy about the coronavirus measures – but also in case of future crises – is being worked on to reach all Belgian residents, which is not always the case today. Read More.

7. The notary’s role when buying property in Belgium

Buying real estate in Belgium involves a notary in all steps of the legal process when signing the documents. An often forgotten but crucial step is the buyer’s offer to the seller to buy the property. So what do they do?

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