Share article:
Share article:

Belgium in Brief: Important Talk Show Announcements

Credit: Belga/Pexels

Following the incomprehension after last weekend’s announcement that garden parties would only be allowed if a professional caterer was hired, Flemish Minister-President Jan Jambon went back on his statement during a popular talk show last night.

“From 9 June, the next date relaxations are going into force, we will allow garden parties for 50 people, caterer or no caterer,” he said on ‘The Cooke & Verhulst show.’

However, while Jambon was mainly criticised for his unclear communication about health measures, he also came under fire for the fact that he made such an important announcement during an entertainment programme.

Denouncing the lack of official announcement, the president of the Flemish Christian-democrat CD&V party Joachim Coens tweeted: “Is this how we inform people?”

On top of that, the announcement happened at the same time as the first semi-final of the Eurovision Song Contest, which drew a lot of viewers across the country, as Belgium was among those performing.

This morning, Coens took to Flemish radio to plead for “unambiguous communication,” while also stressing that the rules for garden parties are still not 100% clear to him.

“It is supposed to go according to the rules of the hospitality industry, but [bars and restaurants] have to close at 10:00 PM,” he said. “Does your garden then also close at 10:00 PM?”

Until the Ministerial Decree is published, however, it seems like no one will be able to answer that question.

What do you think? Should Jambon have made his announcement at a different time?

Were you watching the Eurovision Song Contest? What do you think of the first batch of Grand Finalists?

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

BUT WAIT, one last thing: Want news from The Brussels Times in your inbox every morning? Sign up for The Recap, a free daily newsletter containing all the stories you need to know from the day before. It goes great with your morning coffee. 

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. Garden parties allowed this summer, with or without caterer, clarifies Jambon

On Tuesday evening, Flemish Minister-President Jan Jambon stated that from 9 June, hosting garden parties for over ten people is allowed, with or without professional catering, going back on what he said last weekend. Read more.

2. ‘Not sufficiently bilingual’: Brussels’ French-speaking schools struggle to achieve Dutch fluency

Both the Flemish and French-speaking education systems give pupils the opportunity to learn Dutch, French, and English from a certain age, and in some cases, taking classes in all three languages is mandatory.

“In the French-speaking education system in Brussels, less than 10% of pupils graduate with a decent knowledge of Dutch. We need to make sure all children get the chance to really learn other languages,” Fouad Ahidar, Chai of the Council of the Flemish Community Commission and Member of the Brussels Parliament, told The Brussels Times. Read more.

3. Brussels residents can already print a vaccination certificate

Residents of the Brussels region can now print a copy of a certificate of vaccination, while the planned European Digital Green Certificate is still in preparation.

Via the Brussels Health Network website, anyone who has been vaccinated in the last 48 hours can print a document in English, Dutch or French (or all three) to show when and with what they have been vaccinated. Read more.

4. Manhunt for heavily armed professional soldier, virologist Marc Van Ranst brought to safety

On Tuesday, police conducted an hour-long manhunt in Limburg, searching for a heavily armed man who made threats against virologist Marc Van Ranst.

The suspect is a professional soldier from the barracks of Peutie, said to be armed with a rocket launcher, a machine gun and an ordinary pistol. Read more.

5. One shot of coronavirus vaccine may be enough to travel within EU

People who have received just one shot of a coronavirus vaccine may be able to use proof of vaccination on the Digital Green Certificate to travel between the European Union member states. Read More.

6. C-sections: Belgium’s numbers are higher than WHO recommends

Belgium is seeing steadily fewer births, but the proportion of those births that take place with a caesarian section is increasing to such an extent it now exceeds the recommended limit set by the World Health Organisation. Read More.

7. First batch of Grand Finalists in Eurovision Song Contest 2021 includes Belgium

The Eurovision Song Contest started yesterday evening with the first Semi-Final, resulting in the selection of 10 qualifiers to the Grand Final on Saturday. Read More.

Latest news

Why Belgium is regulating sex work
After decades of confusing rules and hypocritical policy, Belgium is finally regulating sex work by removing prostitution from the criminal law. ...
Up to 100 km/h winds expected across Belgium on Wednesday night
Gusts of up to 100 km/h are expected across Belgium on Wednesday night, according to the Royal Meteorological Institute (RMI), which has issued a ...
Cycling traffic officially added to VRT’s traffic bulletin
Usually a list of updates for drivers on busy roads, traffic bulletins will now include the latest travel news for cyclists in Belgium, VRT announced ...
MEPs call for European strategy to protect workers from asbestos
Members of the European Parliament are calling on the Commission to create a strategy for removing all abestos from buildings in order to reduce the ...
Mandatory vaccine for carers: employers call for sanctions
In a notice submitted by the National Council for Work (CNT), employers have called for heavy penalties for healthcare workers who refuse to receive ...
Police pension protest blocks several Brussels crossroads
On Wednesday, around 350 police officers expressed their dissatisfaction about the unclear pension scheme, low salaries and politicised police unions ...
Belgium in Brief: A Consultative Committee Sequel
Sequels often have a lot to live up to and when it comes to movie franchises, it gets difficult to keep up the hype once you get towards the final ...
25 years ago today: 300,000 people marched in white against child abuse
On this day 25 years ago, over 300,000 people marched in Brussels to demand a more effective justice system and to support the families of Julie, ...
Windy weather forecast should lower gas prices
After weeks of relatively calm conditions, a return to windy weather should lower Europe's soaring energy prices. Wind turbines in the UK and Germany ...
EC calls on candidate countries to focus on fundamental reforms before they can join the EU
The Commission adopted yesterday its 2021 Enlargement Package, providing a detailed assessment of the state of play and the progress made by the ...
Cigarette-eating robot patrols Ghent streets to fight littering
A litter fighting (and eating) robot will be patrolling the streets of Ghent in the coming weeks in an effort to raise awareness of the growing ...
Display of child’s room in Brussels raises awareness of foster families
An exhibit that features a fictitious child’s bedroom has been on display since Tuesday at the Place d'Armes in Namur, with the support of the ...