Belgium in Brief: Ignoring The GEMS?

Belgium in Brief: Ignoring The GEMS?
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The time has come to ask ourselves what we know ahead of Belgium’s Consultative Committee meeting.

The answer? About as much as we usually do, so not as much as we would like. 

Here’s the quick rundown, and some predictions (checked with way-more-of-an-expert-than-I-am @maajtee) of what’s on the agenda

FACT: The meeting will start at 2:30 PM and will be followed by a press conference.

EXPECTED: Mandatory vaccination will be discussed (according to Walloon Minister-President Elio Di Rupo)

EXPECTED: Something is happening with teleworking. The leaked GEMS report showed experts wanted a full-time obligation until the Christmas holidays, the Federal Government proposed a slightly toned-down four days a week.

EXPECTED: Despite calls from the GEMS experts, sectors will likely not be closed. As De Croo said on Tuesday afternoon, extra restrictions will likely be rolled out to make sure they can remain open safely.

TO BE DISCUSSED: The expansion of the face mask obligation for childrenstarting with pupils from 9 years old.

UNKNOWN: Changes to group sizes.

UNKNOWN: New rules for large events, such as weddings. 

What do you see as likely to happen?

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

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1. Vaccine should be made mandatory ‘for everyone, or no one’ in Belgium

Ahead of the Consultative Committee on Wednesday afternoon, the president of the Francophone socialist PS party Paul Magnette said that it should not be possible to fire healthcare staff who refuse to be vaccinated against the coronavirus. Read more.

2. What’s on the agenda of Belgium’s Consultative Committee today?

Belgium’s Consultative Committee will meet this afternoon, two days earlier than initially planned, to discuss measures to halt the rapid rise of the coronavirus figures in the country. Read more.

3. Mandatory vaccination will be on the table today, says Di Rupo

The issue of mandatory vaccination will be put on the table during today’s Consultative Committee meeting, Walloon Minister-President Elio Di Rupo told local media on Wednesday morning. Here’s more.

4. Brussels daycare shortage leaves Dutch-speakers in the lurch

The shortage of affordable Dutch-speaking childcare in Brussels remains very large, with the majority of the Belgian capital’s childcare centres catering to French speakers, according to reporting from Bruzz. Read more.

5. More than 550 Covid-19 patients in intensive care

The number of Covid-19 patients being treated in intensive care in Belgium is increasing after breaking the alert threshold of 500, while the number of new infections has surpassed 10,000 every day. Read More.

6. Half of Europeans have reduced meat consumption

Almost half of European consumers have reduced their meat consumption in the past year and just under 40% plan to consume less meat in the next six months, according to a survey conducted by the international vegetarian organisation ProVeg. Read more.

7. Twenty Belgian beers win prizes at European Beer Star Awards

Twenty Belgian beers won prizes at this year’s European Beer Star Awards, an international beer competition held in Germany at the beginning of November. Read more.


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