In a moment slightly different from the norm, the biggest news of the week in Belgium takes us out of the country, quite literally.
It’s been months since many of us left the country or even the city. While the issue of not being allowed to travel is far from unique to Belgium, Brussels attracts a certain type of displaced person to which this travel news holds significant meaning.
Be it Americans wondering if they can fly back to the states, mainland Europeans considering ways to get to their home country while weighing up against infection variations, or even the English (not the British) getting the news that they might be able to travel home without being placed in quarantine – to be confirmed later.
This last one holds a particular significance and cause for a momentary lapse into the first person for Belgium in Brief.
As despite seeing with jubilation that travel to England was allowed again – assuming the all too common mix-up of England/UK to mean I too was free to travel home – I was brought back down to earth when I saw that Scotland was not on board.
So for now, I’ll wait before I know if I can go home during the summer, before I join the many in Belgium considering if it’s a good idea or not.
With so much information, and so little time to catch up before it potentially changes again, here are some of the top stories from around the country to get you up to speed.
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How do you build a city to withstand a global pandemic? Urban hubs are scrambling to redesign their roads and buildings to meet the needs of a new post-coronavirus era.
Belgium’s capital has not been known historically for having a particularly thoughtful or diligent approach to urban planning. While New York gave us the grid system and Paris the elegance of Haussmannisation, Brusselisation has become a byword for just letting buildings sprout up where they may.
Derek Blyth is the author of the bestselling The 500 Hidden Secrets of Brussels. He picks out ten of his favourite hidden secrets in every issue for The Brussels Times Magazine. These are the picks in the latest Summer issue. Read more.
Your train to Gare du Midi has probably ran right past the Wetsi Gallery, and you had no idea.
The windows of the art gallery sit along the railway on the first floor at Studio CityGate, a former industrial estate turned trendy workshop, just south of the railway on rue des Deux Gares in Anderlecht. The high, bright pink gate opens on a skatepark and a community garden. Inside, the Wetsi Gallery shares the space with Café Congo, an arty bar and events space, and with several artists’ studios.
As of July 10, citizens of over 50 countries will no longer be quarantined upon arrival in England. France, Spain, Germany and Italy are among those affected, the British government said in a statement.
Full disclosure, we don’t know if Belgium is on that list yet. Read More.