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Belgium in Brief: A Get-Out-Of-Covid-Free Card

Credit: Save Donderberg/Pexels/Jules Johnston

Now that the ‘EU Covid-19 certificate’ for free travel is taking shape, people across the bloc are looking into whether such a pass could also be used for more possibilities within individual countries.

In Denmark, which is already using the certificate, showing your “corona pass” gives you access to restaurants, cinemas and any other place that’s otherwise still closed for the rest of society.

A similar system in Belgium, however, is not looking likely (yet), as experts say it isn’t a good idea to split society into the vaccinated and the non-vaccinated.

“I am not in favour of such a system until the whole population has had the opportunity to be vaccinated, or to change their decision (if it was negative first),” said virologist Marc Van Ranst.

“We have to do this in solidarity. As long as everyone has not received a vaccine, it will not be accepted by the population to make distinctions.”

Experts are still looking into the possibility of relaxing some measures for vaccinated people, but it doesn’t seem like getting your jab will likely get you into a Belgian restaurant sooner than anyone else.

So, what do you think? Would you want a ‘Covid-19 pass’ if it means you can properly go out for dinner sooner? Or would you rather wait until everyone has at least had the chance?

Let @johnstonjules know. Or @maithchini, since she wrote it today.

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Belgium in Brief is a free daily roundup of the top stories to get you through your lunch break conversations. To receive it straight to your inbox every day, sign up below:

1. No Belgian ‘Covid pass’ before everyone is vaccinated, says Van Ranst

Introducing a Belgian ‘Covid pass’ to allow people entrance to businesses like restaurants or cinemas is not a good idea until everyone has had the chance to get vaccinated, according to virologist Marc Van Ranst. Read more.

2. Brussels’ 10-year feud over the city’s last-remaining wildernesses

Credit: Save Donderberg

A hidden green space next to Brussels’ Royal Park of Laeken rose from obscurity in the last years as it became the centre of a disagreement between locals and the regional government.

The dispute? What to build on Donderberg, one of the last genuinely wild spots in Brussels. Read more.

3. Brussels Beer Project unveils new bar in former Irish pub

The brewers from the Brussels Beer Project (BBP) have unveiled the location of their second bar in Brussels after days of hints posted on the company’s social media platform.

The new Ixelles venue, located on the corner of Rue du Bailli and Avenue Louise, was perhaps better known to many expats as the former location of the Irish pub Michael Collins. Read More.

4. Ministerial Decree for outdoor plan drafted: these rules apply from 8 May

Following the Consultative Committee’s decision on Wednesday to give the official green light for the ‘outdoor plan,’ the latest draft Ministerial Decree lists all measures that will take effect from Saturday 8 May.

The draft Decree, which contains all rules decided during the Committee meetings of 14, 23 and 28 April, will now be submitted to the Council of State for its opinion, announced the cabinet of Interior Affairs Minister Annelies Verlinden. Here’s what you need to know.

5. Concern as AB InBev launches hard seltzers in Belgium

Health and addiction organisations have expressed concern at the decision by brewing giant AB InBev to launch its range of so-called ‘hard seltzers’ in Belgium, France, Germany and the Netherlands. Read More.

6. Belgium to start vaccinating children from September, taskforce says

If the European Medicines Agency (EMA) approves Pfizer/BioNTech’s Covid-19 vaccine for children from 12 years old, Belgium will start vaccinating them in September. Read More.

7. Facebook blocks event page of fake ‘La Boum 2’ festival

Facebook has blocked the event page for “La Boum 2,” an unauthorised party that was set to take place this weekend in Brussels’ Bois de la Cambre. Read More.

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