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Belgium in Brief: Brussels Pauses, Belgium Moves On

The start of September brings with it a host of new changes which we have covered in-depth. Some are straightforward; others require a bit more time to get your head around. Rather than try to summarise them all, let’s focus on one little element which harks back to the early days of coronavirus measures in Belgium.

As of today, Flanders and Wallonia have lifted the last of the major rules that have hobbled the hospitality industry for months, but in Brussels, these measures will stay in place.

So while the rest of the country sees:

No more restrictions on opening or closing hours,

Takeaway delivery available without restrictions,

No maximum for the number of people at a table, or minimum distance between,

No need to stay seated – so go get your own beer; 

Brussels will be keeping things the way they are for another month. Sure, these changes are not the massive sweeping moves to reopen sectors we saw earlier in the year, but I do still wonder if people might find themselves venturing out of the capital regions for a late dinner or a drink.

If not, they just have to wait a little longer with current expectations that the Region’s current stricter rules will remain in force until at least 30 September.

So, the big question. How far would you travel for a late-night beer? Book a hotel in a different city to get a late dinner? Park in Flanders and order a last-ditch takeaway? Let @johnstonjules know.

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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. Summer plan: what changes today?

The basics have been outlined above, but the latest changes to Belgium’s measures go far beyond hospitality. Here’s what you need to know.

2. What’s new from 1 September?

Neighbour relations. © Gieren Menighen via Unsplash

Aside from being the day when all the covid measures change and kids go back to school, the start of a new month also brings a whole bunch of new perks for those of us living in the country. Here’s a recap.

3. Brussels – Malmö night train plans scrapped

Despite being given the green light by the Swedish government in July, the proposed night train connection between the two cities will not go ahead, leaving passengers with a difficult journey if they want to make the trip by train. Read more.

4. Belgian wins over €21 million in EuroMillions lottery

A Belgian woman was one of three people who had the right combination on Tuesday’s draw, netting her a third of the EuroMillions jackpot of €63,644,284. Read more.

5. Sewers show a fourth wave is on its way

Belgium’s sewer water is indicating that a fourth wave is on the way, as evidence of infection can be detected in sewage water even before symptoms manifest themselves among citizens. Read more.

6. Which matches up with…

A warning by virologist Steven Van Gucht that people need to be cautious in order to minimise the impact of a new wave of coronavirus cases in the autumn, during October and November. Read more.

7. As the Covid-19 positivity rate reaches the highest level since May

The average number of people testing positive for the coronavirus in Belgium has now surpassed 2,000 per day after stabilising slightly last week. Read more.