Belgium in Brief: Play Nice EU

Belgium in Brief: Play Nice EU

Some wiggle room in implementing the European Covid certificate has seen the Member States criticised for missing the opportunity to work together.

“We wanted this European Covid certificate to be an effective and genuinely useful tool for the consumer,” said Simon November, spokesperson for Test Achats, adding that this message “clearly got through” to both the European Commission and the European Parliament.

“However, the Member States have given themselves a lot of leeway on certain points, such as whether or not to accept antigen tests, the age from which the certificate is required, the different periods of validity for PCR tests or post-vaccination periods,” he said.

By aiming to make travel easier and safe, the tool should also revitalise the tourism sector, which has been hard hit by the pandemic. “But all these different rules make it a complicated instrument,” said November.

So you KNOW it’s going to be a pain. At least initially.

It will sort itself out in the end, but a lack of uniformity leaves the potential for confusion. Confusion leads to waits, frantic searches, mistakes and longer lines. These all lead to stress.

Nobody wants that.

But is it all going to be worth it? To me, yes, but what do you think?

Let @johnstonjules know.

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1. Belgium called to restrict UK travel to keep out Delta variant

Belgium should look into stricter travel measures against the UK in an effort to halt the spread of the Delta variant of the coronavirus, according to State Secretary for Asylum and Immigration Sammy Mahdi. Read more.

2. ‘Missed opportunity’: EU travel certificates criticised for lack of uniformity

Credit: Test Achats

As the Belgian Covid Certificate to facilitate travel within the EU was launched on Wednesday, consumer organisation Test-Achats called the Member States’ lack of uniformity for the document a “missed opportunity.”Read more.

3. Consultative Committee will meet at 2:00 PM tomorrow

The next meeting of Belgium’s Consultative Committee will take place on Friday at 2:00 AM, Prime Minister Alexander De Croo’s cabinet has confirmed. Read more.

4. Revealed: Flemish government knew about PFOS problem in 2017

A protest against 3M pollution this week. © Belga

Members of the Flemish government were informed of the problem of pollution caused by the hazardous chemical PFOS in September 2017, and did nothing about it, according to an email obtained by the VRT. Read more.

5. Belgium and Luxembourg consider creating a joint battalion

The joint ground unit would be placed under Belgian command, but be managed by the two countries together, Bausch said in Melsbroek, during a visit to the Belgium-Luxembourg Binational Air Transport Unit A400M. Read more.

6. Belgian automakers suspend production again as chip shortage continues

Production lines will close at Ghent’s Volvo factory and the Audi one in Brussels this week due to a shortage of electronic chips needed for production. Read more.

7. 1,100 e-scooters: Belgium’s newest rental company lands in Brussels

Estonia’s Bolt, which specialises in shared mobility, will deploy 1,100 shared electric scooters throughout the Brussels region, it announced on Thursday. This is its first step on the Belgian market, with three to five more cities to be added by the end of the summer. Read more.

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