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Belgium in Brief: Sneaky Updates

Here’s a question for you all to kick this off: do you really feel like you are as up to speed on the news as you feel you should be?

No? I think that’s pretty common, maybe even more so in the current situation. However, this isn’t entirely your fault.

Everything is changing so quickly that it can sometimes be difficult to even work out where to look to know what’s news.

Which brings me to my point:

According to an update on the Flemish government website, the pass issued by the British National Health Service (NHS pass) can now be ‘read and verified’ by the Belgian authorities.

But accepted?

That’s less clear, and with a significant number of other official websites still saying they are not, it’s difficult to plan.

So, here we are. Still in the dark, but we’re used to that now.

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. Asylum minister refuses to stop forced return of Afghan refugees

Asylum and migration minister Sammy Mahdi (CD&V) is refusing to follow the example of Germany and the Netherlands, two neighbours who have suspended the forced return of Afghan refugees refused asylum. Read more.

2. Gold and platinum found in the sewers of Brussels

Water treatment at one of the Brussels electricity generating stations. © Dr Natacha Brion

Researchers from the two Brussels universities VUB and ULB have succeeded in extracting particles of gold, platinum, and other metals from the sewers of the city. Read more.

3. German nurse suspected of giving 8,600 people saline solution instead of vaccine

In Germany, 8,577 people have to be vaccinated against the coronavirus again, because a nurse likely gave them a saline solution instead of a vaccine, according to reports in local news. Read more.

4. Flanders offers housing to flood victims in Wallonia

Flanders is offering housing to Walloon flood victims, using available space in assisted living facilities in Limburg and Flemish Brabant, according to various reports in Belgian media. Read more.

5. Brussels citizen collective wants Bpost to stop illegally parking in bike lanes, footpaths

A group of Brussels citizens has formed a collective to address the issue of illegally-parked Bpost couriers in the Belgian capital, and they’ve come prepared with evidence of how extensive the problem is. Read more.

6. Just over half of packaged food contained weight indicated

Barely half of all packaged food samples tested by inspectors contained the quantity of product indicated on the ticket, according to the finance ministry. Read more.

7. Air Belgium to deny boarding to tourists to Martinique and Guadeloupe

Air Belgium has announced that it will refuse to board passengers travelling to Martinique and Guadeloupe for tourism purposes in response to the resurgence of the Covid-19 in the French West Indies. Read more.