Belgium in Brief: Then What?

Belgium in Brief: Then What?
Credit: Canva/ Belga

This weekend, protests against the extra coronavirus measures that many states are introducing took place across Europe.

But you probably knew that already.

In Brussels, an estimated 35,000 people took to the streets for a demonstration that turned violent as a few thousand attendees diverged from the agreed route and clashed with police. The riots caused considerable damage and lead to dozens of arrests.

And whilst many demonstration organisers were quick to distance themselves from the violence, the protests and riots do raise a fairly big question that’s remarkably difficult to answer.

How should we deal with the developing pandemic?

Because although many are sending a clear message of ‘not this,’ that begs the response: ‘then what?’

No Covid Safe Ticket?

No masks?

No measures at all?

This seems pretty unlikely in a country where health experts are more or less unanimous on the need to apply a number of measures alongside the vaccine rollout.

Whether in Belgium or beyond, persuading people to comply with measures that they don’t believe in continues to be a tricky task with no easy answers.

What do you think we should do?

Let @johnstonjules know your thoughts (or email me 

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1. New measures?

Yes. Here they are. 

2. Brussels riots aftermath: 44 arrests, 3 injured officers and ‘a lot of damage’

The riots following Sunday’s protest. Credit: Belga

On Sunday, an estimated 35,000 people took to the streets of Brussels to protest against the stricter coronavirus measures introduced to curb the fourth wave. Riots broke out on the fringes of the demonstration, resulting in a lot of damage in the capital as well as dozens of arrests. Read more.

3. Rush hour disappears as teleworking returns

Rush hour on Monday morning was quieter than normal on the main roads in the north of the country, according to the Flemish Traffic Centre (Vlaams Verkeerscentrum), which attributed this to the teleworking measures that came into force today. Read more.

4. Belgian PCR test labs can’t cope with influx of demand

Laboratories that have to analyse PCR tests in Belgium are being overrun, and are saying they can’t keep up with the increasing number of tests that are being taken. Read more.

5. Dott to add 2,000 new rental e-bikes to Brussels by end of year

Dott’s blue scooters have been around Brussels for two and a half years now, and on Monday the e-bikes will begin joining the fleet. Read more.

6. Unvaccinated should be banned from clubs, Horeca Vlaanderen argues

Horeca Vlaanderen – the umbrella organisation of the hospitality industry in Flanders – has renewed its call to ban people who are not vaccinated from clubs, citing a “dramatic situation.”Read more.

7. New bill sets fixed fees for residence permits

The amounts range from €126 – for researchers, European Blue Card holders, single permits, seasonal workers and migration for work within EU companies – to €313 for humanitarian regularisation of residence. Here’s more.

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