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Belgium in Brief: Covid Context

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This morning I got a press release in my inbox which presented an interesting stat.

In June, Brussels Airport welcomed 646,589 passengers.

Right, I know that’s not particularly earth-shattering, but the context will help. You see, that number is:

  • A 73% decline compared to June 2019,
  • The best month since the start of the pandemic in March 2020.

We’ve reached a stage where the world has been in stasis for so long that comparing to the before just isn’t helpful.

Take this example:

  • In June 2019, I was in America on holiday,
  • In June 2020, I was in Scotland,
  • In June 2021, I barely left Mechelen.

The world is not the same, so we’re constantly going to be comparing the before times. So we have a choice:

Do we drive ourselves insane comparing things to the times before the global pandemic?

Or do we celebrate the small victories?

I’ll take option 2, keeps me sane.

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. Only 1 in 3 returning travellers complies with test obligation, says Pedro Facon

Only one in three travellers who have to be tested after returning to Belgium from a holiday actually do so, according to Corona Commissioner Pedro Facon. Read More.

2. Brits in EU raise red flag on new English quarantine rules

A plan to scrap quarantines for fully vaccinated British citizens arriving from amber countries has become a subject of concern for a collective of Brits in Europe, who fear the current rule doesn’t include them. Read more.

3. Record number of charity bequests in Flanders

In 2020, €434.4 million was bequeathed to charities from people living in Flanders, over €100 million more than in 2019, according to figures compiled by Flemish MP Katrien Schryvers (CD&V). Read more.

4. Brussels summer camp ends early after Covid-19 infections

A summer camp based out of the Woluwe-Saint-Pierre neighbourhood of Brussels has ended less than a day after it began, after some members of its leadership tested positive for the coronavirus. Read more.

5. Cameras catch illegal dumping: ‘Mainly locals in slippers and nightgowns’

Two cameras have been set up to catch people who illegally dump household waste near public rubbish bins in the Flemish city of Sint-Niklaas, and have helped authorities identify over ten fly-tippers. Read more.

6. Bus taking Belgian youths home from holidays caught fire in France

A bus that was taking 49 young people from Flanders back to Belgium suffered a tyre blowout and then caught fire on Monday night in France. Read more.

7. Period between two Pfizer coronavirus shots shortened to three weeks again

Starting today, anyone who is invited to get the Pfizer coronavirus vaccine in Flanders will have to wait just three weeks rather than five weeks between receiving both doses. Read More.

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