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Belgium in Brief: Is Brussels Being Singled Out?

Sure as the rain, we now have another Covid Safe Ticket update to familiarise ourselves with. What can I say, at least there’s some progress?

The prevailing opinion is that in the not-so-distant future, Brussels will begin making the pass mandatory in more situations, which is prompting businesses in the city to cry foul that Brussels is (potentially) being singled out.

From 1 October, people will likely have to present their CST to enter a restaurant or bar in Brussels, proving that they are fully vaccinated, have recently tested negative or recovered from an infection in the past six months.

The hospitality sector, however, isn’t happy with that.

“Such a measure should not have any geographical limitation in Belgium, because municipalities like Vilvoorde are facing the same problems as Brussels,” Marc Van Muylders of Horeca Brussels told The Brussels Times. “The rules for the hospitality industry should be the same throughout the country.”

This gets back to the old question that has come up time and again: if Brussels authorities require the pass but residents don’t want to use it, what’s to stop them from leaving the city to get their way? For many in Brussels, a short trip to a neighbouring municipality could mean a CST-free dinner and drinks – a prospect that will surely appeal to some.

As Van Muylders says (lower down in the story which you should very much read)

“If it remains limited to one specific sector in one specific region, you are not boosting anything, you are just moving the problem somewhere else.”

So, what do you think? Does he have a point?

Let @johnstonjules know (or email me j.johnston@brusselstimes.com

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. 

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1. But now… Flanders also considers Covid Safe Ticket in cities and municipalities

Now that Belgium’s different governments have approved the agreement to expand the use of the Covid Safe Tickets in different regions, Flanders is also considering its use in certain cities and municipalities. Read more.

2. Bring back our Brits, says Ypres

The Menin Gate, site of the Last Post ceremony. © Toerisme Ieper

Ypres is inscribed in British history, with thousands of British and Commonwealth soldiers passing through its gates on their way to the Western Front during the 1914-1918 war. Now, however, current measures mean that tourists just aren’t coming. Read more.

3. ‘We protect each other’: Flanders to vaccinate foreign students

“Students are a large part of the population in our university towns. It is therefore obvious that we offer them the opportunity to be vaccinated. That way, we also protect each other.” Read more.

4. ‘Lessons need to be learned’: WHO calls for joint European pandemic response

In a recent report, the World Health Organisation (WHO) criticised the handling of the Covid-19 pandemic across Europe and has stressed that lessons must be learned to avoid another pandemic and a similar economic fallout. Read more.

5. ‘Economic necessity’: Tomorrowland wants three festival weekends in 2022

After the dance festival was cancelled for two years in a row in 2020 and 2021, Tomorrowland wants to organise not two, but three weekends in Belgium next summer. Read more.

6. Just 4% of Belgian employees benefit from a travel allowance

As the worst of the pandemic seems to have passed and many tentatively return to the workplace, the journey from home to work is, once again, becoming a large part of people’s daily routine. Read more.

7. Coronavirus infections stabilize as deaths rise

The average number of new coronavirus infections in Belgium has stabilised and is starting to slowly decrease. However, the number of deaths continues to rise. Read more.

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