Share article:
Share article:

Belgium in Brief: What Does Returning To Red Mean?

Credit: Belga

The latest update to the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) map has seen all of Belgium return to red, again.

Thankfully, the situation we now find ourselves in is very different to the last time. This time around, increased vaccination rates will strengthen our resilience and allow us to avoid severe restrictions, which was not the case previously.

So, let’s have a look at what going red ACTUALLY MEANS.

It turns out that this isn’t as simple as I had hoped. Thankfully @Maajtee, our resident expert on all things Covid, was able to clear things up. She explained how the changes don’t so much affect Belgium as the rest of Europe in its entirety.

Red, Orange, Green are simply representations of the rate of infection in a region at the time the figures were given. Just like the traffic light system they’re based on, it’s all about how people react to them.

These colours, besides being a visual representation of how countries are doing, don’t really SAY a lot, and are mostly for the unvaccinated.

While Member States cannot impose extra restrictions on travellers coming from a green area, they can and have demanded a negative test and/or quarantine from (unvaccinated) people coming from orange and red zones.

Here in Belgium, non-vaccinated people aged 12 and over who do not have a recovery certificate must be tested if they return to Belgium from a red zone, on day 1 as well as on day 7 of their return. Will other countries do the same? Some already have.

Here’s the story. Let @johnstonjules know what you think. 

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. Belgium’s €21 million EuroMillions winner is yet to collect

A Belgian who won more than €21 million with EuroMillions on 31 August is yet to make themselves known. Is it you? Maybe it’s time to check. Read more.

2. De Wever’s criticism of coronavirus rules leaves questions hanging

Interior Affairs Minister Annelies Verlinden. Credit: Belga

On Thursday morning, N-VA party president and Antwerp mayor Bart De Wever called out “major inconsistencies” in the latest Ministerial Decree (which gives the coronavirus measures legal basis) drafted and published by Verlinden’s offices.

By Thursday evening, Belgium’s Interior Affairs Minister Annelies Verlinden was calling him out for this. In response, Verlinden pointed out that the Flemish government, represented at the Consultative Committees by Minister-President Jan Jambon of De Wever’s N-VA party, at no point opposed the proposed measures, and never protested against the draft Ministerial Decree either.

Here’s the story.

3. Brussels schools ‘informally ask’ about vaccination among pupils

Teachers can’t ask their pupils whether or not they have been vaccinated, but that doesn’t stop kids from talking about it anyway. Read more.

4. Ryanair plans eleven new routes from Charleroi this winter

New routes, new planes, new jobs. As travel starts to resume, the low-cost airline has plans for Brussels South Charleroi Airport. Read more.

5. Embargo on Belgian pork lifted in 14 out of 30 countries

Fourteen of the 30 countries and territories that had temporarily restricted the export of Belgian pork following the discovery of African swine fever (ASF) in the country back in September 2018 have now lifted that embargo. Read more.

6. 133 pupils ‘without a school’ in Brussels as school year starts

A total of 167 children were still on the waiting list for a place in a school of their choice on Thursday, as most secondary school pupils had already returned to school in Wallonia and Brussels. Read more.

7. Covid-19: More than 2,000 positive tests a day, deaths down 12%

No way to really change how this one is presented. Deaths are dropping but the average number of people testing positive for the coronavirus in Belgium continues to pass 2,000 per day. Read more.

Latest news

Anti-vaxxers demonstrate against Covid Safe Ticket in Brussels
Hundreds of supporters of the anti-vaxx movement gathered on Saturday outside the headquarters of the Pfizer pharmaceutical company to protest ...
Belgium’s investment funds total 260 billion euros in assets
Belgium’s funds industry grew by 5.3% (13 billion euros) in the second quarter of this year, bringing investment funds available to the public to ...
Brussels to Luxembourg by train in two hours soon possible
The fastest train ride between Brussels and Luxembourg currently takes almost three hours, but that could be slashed to about two hours thanks to the ...
Daily Covid infections up by almost 30% in Belgium
Between 6 and 12 October, an average of 2,438 people were infected with the Covid-19 virus every day, according to figures from the Sciensano public ...
Over 80,000 companies in Belgium non-compliant with anti-money laundering meassures
Over 80,000 companies and non-profits in Belgium are still not compliant with the Ultimate Business Owner (UBO) register, which is required of them ...
Increase in tax exemption for donations in Belgium fails to meet expectations
The increase from 45% to 60% in the tax exemption for donations, decided by the former federal government in June 2020, has cost Belgium more than ...
Sex workers in Belgium to get more social rights protection
The social rights of sex workers will soon be better protected in Belgium, Belga News Agency reports. The Council of Ministers has approved a draft ...
Belgian firms sent almost 266 billion euros to tax havens last year
Hundreds of Belgian firms sent close to 266 billion euros to tax havens last year, De Tijd reported on Saturday. Any Belgian individual or firm ...
Belgian investigator wins prestigious US prize
Olivier Hardy, an investigator with the federal police’s anti-terrorist unit in Brussels, DR3, received on Friday a "Top Cop" prize in Washington for ...
Pegasus Project: European Parliament awards journalism prize to investigation of use of spyware
The Daphne Caruana Prize for Journalism was awarded on Thursday to the journalists from the Pegasus Project coordinated by the Forbidden Stories ...
Belgians can now test their knowledge of driving rules and win prizes
The Walloon Road Safety Agency (AWSR) launched on Friday a quiz to allow the general public to test their knowledge of the highway code. Last year, ...
600 extras wanted for film about Belgian ‘Porn King’ and notorious Antwerp nightclub
A Belgian movie telling the story of a notorious Antwerp nightclub with connections to a Belgian 'Porn King' is looking for 600 extras at the end of ...