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Belgium in Brief: Our Newest Normal

The sun is out, you’re maybe still working from home, and you might even have plans for one of the coming nights.

The “newest normal” kind of snuck up on us all, or is that just me?

This weekend, I sat on a terrace, mask off, basking in the sun and having a beer with a friend I used to see a lot more. I got a little sunburned, my bad.

It’s little things like that we’re getting back to, and it’s pretty nice.

Now, don’t get me wrong, there’s a heap of things we don’t know as a consultative committee nears. Travel is a messy situation weighing heavily on the minds of many, so as we enter into the summer, I want to take a second.

For the first time in a long time, I discovered a few new things this weekend:
– I found a summer bar I like,
– I tried some new food,
– I even found a gas station in Limburg with a proper pizza oven.

And yes, these things are all little unremarkable things, but they are also new.

We’re in the newest normal, and I think I might pause to enjoy it for a minute before stressing about the next thing.

How are you experiencing the newest normal?

Let @johnstonjules know.

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1. What you WILL need to travel this summer

While Belgium’s Consultative Committee should bring clarity about the EU ‘Digital Covid Certificate’ on Friday, one thing is certain: anyone crossing borders this summer will have to meet at least one of three conditions first.

Here they are.

2. UK government proposes ‘votes for life’ for expats

© Agur Akdemir for Unsplash

The British government has decided to scrap the rule that stops British people from voting in elections if they have lived abroad for more than 15 years. Read more.

3. Jürgen Conings case: More people receiving extra police protection

As the search for the missing career soldier Jürgen Conings continues, other people, alongside virologist Marc Van Ranst, are currently receiving extra police protection. Read more.

4. First obesity clinic for pets opens in Flanders

Photo by Jorge Zapata on Unsplash

A new department for overweight animals has been opened at the Merelbeke veterinary clinic close to Ghent in East Flanders. Read more.

5. Number of Belgian wine growers increased in 2020

The number of Belgian wine growers is increasing year after year and grew by a quarter in 2020 alone, according to the Flemish info centre for agriculture and horticulture (VILT). Read more.

6. Belgium to donate four million additional coronavirus vaccines to COVAX

Belgium will be donating four million additional coronavirus vaccines to COVAX, the worldwide collaboration initiated by the World Health Organisation and the United Nations to make vaccines available to all countries. Read more.

7. Brussels completes cycle route between Madou and Art-Loi

Another section of Brussels’ ongoing development of cycling infrastructure around the small ring road has officially been completed, according to a tweet by Brussels Mobility Minister Elke Van den Brandt. Read more.