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Belgium in Brief: Tickets At The Ready, Please

Credit: Canva

What a week.

Tuesday it was new rules for the vaccinated, Wednesday it was new rules for Flanders and Wallonia, and on Wednesday evening we got an idea of how events will look in Brussels for the foreseeable future.

First up, you’ll almost certainly need a ticket for things to feel even remotely “normal”.

For those thinking that tickets for events are nothing new, I should clarify that this is a very different ticket. Not the tickets for your favourite band that sell out in five minutes; what we’re talking about here is the Covid Safe Ticket (CST).

So what exactly is this ticket? (Because I certainly wasn’t sure).

Fundamentally, the CST is proof that you have been fully vaccinated for at least two weeks, have recently tested negative, or have been infected and recovered from coronavirus in the past six months. The CST is only valid in Belgium and is specifically intended to allow events to take place without having to wear a face mask and keep a distance of 1.5 meters.

That last bit is what makes all the difference here.

If you go to an event that needs the pass, it might actually feel a little bit more normal. Events with 3000 + attendees can now go ahead thanks to the CST, and aside from a mandatory closing hour, they should be pretty much the same as they were before.

Have you been to any events using the tickets yet? How were they? Let @johnstonjules know.

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1. Leuven University named among the Top 50 in the world

Four Belgian universities have made it into this year’s World University Rankings published by Times Higher Education. Leuven even made it into the top 50. Read more.

2. Covid Safe Tickets Please: New rules for events in Brussels

Test event in Brussels in August 2021. Credit: Belga

Since the Capital Region is not implementing the same relaxations that are taking effect in the rest of Belgium, Brussels has clarified its rules for small and larger events. Here are the rules.

3. Museum visits on Doctor’s orders?

It’s still a proposal, but the inspiration for the idea came from the Canadian province of Quebec, which introduced such a system in 2018 after an agreement between the Fine Arts Museum in Montreal and the professional order of physicians. Read more.

4. Political support grows for mandatory vaccination for all

As one politician put it, “when a fifth or sixth wave follows the fourth, when new variants keep appearing and we cannot eradicate this virus, then it becomes unsustainable and it becomes a public health issue.” Read more.

5. No more smoking in Flemish forests and nature reserves

Long periods of drought and the consequent risk of fire have seen smoking banned. Read more.

6. STIB streamlines with new mobility centre

STIB’s six primary transport systems ( busses, trams, metros, infrastructure and provision of energy, security, and transport communications) will very soon have a more central command base. Read more.

7. Booster vaccinations: Not for all, not yet

Giving booster doses of vaccines to the fully vaccinated isn’t an urgent concern for the ECDC, but it’s a different story for those with severely weakened immune systems. Read more.