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Belgium in Brief: Gasp!

By this point, we have been facing over a year of missed deadlines as Belgium struggles to keep up with what’s going on globally.

For that very reason, it shouldn’t be surprising that another optimistic deadline has been moved because something didn’t quite work out.

Flanders, you see, will no longer be able to offer all adults their first vaccine dose by 11 July.

As someone square in the “ooh nearly” bracket for getting a vaccine, I feel like I should be hanging in every minor update on when I will get mine.

I was, but now not so much. Instead, I find myself squarely in the “it happens when it happens” mentality, and this is something new.

When I get my invite, I’ll be there in a flash, but I find myself numb to news of delays.

Perhaps this will pass. Maybe I’ll be climbing the walls by June, cursing the vaccine gods.

For now, however, the best I can muster is a halfhearted “oh” before moving on to the next thing.

So, on a much broader question. How are you feeling?

Hyper aware… or just a little checked out?

Let @johnstonjules know.

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1. Giving everyone first vaccine by 11 July no longer feasible, says Beke

Offering all adults in Flanders their first vaccine dose by 11 July will no longer be feasible following the age limit put in place for the Johnson & Johnson jab, according to Flemish Welfare Minister Wouter Beke. Read more.

2. New board game takes beer lovers on a race through Belgium

If you’ve ever wanted to pit your extensive knowledge of Belgian beers against that of your friends, you’ll very soon have the chance to do exactly that.

A board game by the name of Belgian Beer Race is currently in production and due for release this summer, meaning beer lovers and brew-thusiasts will be able to literally win at beer. Read more.

3. Threshold for next relaxations reached: fewer than 500 Covid patients in ICU

As of today, fewer than 500 Covid-19 patients are admitted to intensive care units in Belgian hospitals, meaning that an important condition to start the first stage of the “summer plan” on 9 June has been met. Read more.

4. Europe’s tallest inflatable waterslide comes to Belgium

Belgian thrillseekers are being invited to come and try Europe’s tallest inflatable waterslide when it comes to the country for the first time later this year. Read more.

5. Fire on heathland was caused by phosphorus munitions

A serious fire on heathland in April near Brecht to the north of Antwerp was caused by white phosphorus munitions which the Army at that time should not have been using, the VRT reports. Read more.

6. Belgian ambassador to South Korea recalled after wife slapped shop assistant

The tenure of the Belgian Ambassador to South Korea, Peter Lescouhier, will be ended following the incident in which his wife slapped a shop assistant at a clothing store in the capital, Seoul, announced Belgian Foreign Affairs Minister Sophie Wilmès on Friday. Read more.

7. SNCB launches faster, direct trains to the coast next weekend

Belgian train company SNCB is launching a pilot project with direct reservations trains to and from the coast during the weekend of 5 and 6 June, aiming to use the system during the busier summer season. Read more.