Belgium in Brief: Surprise Lockdown?

Belgium in Brief: Surprise Lockdown?
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The news that the Netherlands will be locking down over the festive break has people in Belgium a little on edge, but that’s to be expected. The omnipresent fear of lockdown has been part of our collective lives for a long time now, so it’s only right that we see one place locking down and think “are we next?”

So, are we? 

Speaking on Sunday, Walloon Minister for Health Christie Morreale (PS) said that a lockdown in Belgium is not currently being considered by the government. Morreale emphasised the need to “double down on third doses: it is essential that everyone who is eligible goes to a vaccination centre.”

She also stressed the importance of adhering to the other protection measures – ventilation, wearing a mask, social distancing, and limiting the number of close contacts.

So, what does that mean?

Well, a lockdown in Belgium is not currently being considered by the government.

Ultimately, as with a lot of these things, Belgium’s future is going to come down to a meeting we all know all too well. The Consultative Committee, which is set to gather on Wednesday.

Does that mean new rules? New advice or changes to travel? 

Guess we’ll all find out on Wednesday, won’t we?

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1. Second night train from Brussels expected to be deployed in summer 2022

Belgium’s second night train, with Prague as its final destination, is expected to start running by next summer, the Dutch-Belgian company European Sleeper stated on its website. Read more.

2. Flights cancelled as Brussels Airlines goes on strike

Brussels Airlines employees pass out literature regarding the strike to passengers at Brussels Airport. Photo by Helen Lyons.

Passengers planning to fly with Brussels Airlines this morning are discovering that flights are cancelled due to a 24-hour strike by employees, timed for maximum impact during the high-travel holiday season. Read more.

3. Confirmed: Belgium starts vaccinating children from 5 years old

Belgium will soon also start vaccinating children from 5 to 11 years old against the coronavirus with Pfizer’s vaccine, the country’s various health ministers decided on Monday. Read more.

4. Belgium funds research into the treatment of ‘métis’ by colonial authorities

Belgium’s Foreign Affairs, Foreign Trade, and National Archives departments have agreed on historical research into the way the authorities treated métis people (those of mixed European and African heritage) during the colonial period, the Foreign Ministry said in a statement on Friday. Read more.

5. GAIA urges Brussels and Flanders to ban sale of force-fed foie gras

On Sunday, the animal rights organisation Global Action in the Interest of Animals (GAIA) called for a ban on the sale of foie gras from Wallonia and any foie gras obtained through force-feeding. Read More.

6. One of the world’s smallest books sold in Brussels auction for €3,500

On Saturday, what is widely claimed to be one of the world’s smallest books sold at auction in Brussels for €3,500, far exceeding the estimate set by experts prior to the auction. Read more.

7. Electric car owners can soon request charging points closer to home

People living in Flanders who drive a fully electric car but don’t have the capacity to install their own charging point can soon request a public property charging point nearby. Here’s more.

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