Share article:
Share article:

Belgium in Brief: Measured Freedom

If I achieve one thing with this newsletter today it’s explaining what this:

From 1 July onwards, all EU member states will accept the certificates, which will show that a person has been fully vaccinated against the coronavirus, has a recent negative PCR Covid-19 test, or has recently been infected and has recovered, and is therefore immune.

… means for you.

And because – like some of you – I was a little fuzzy on what this meant on a practical level for people in Belgium, so I asked Maïthé Chini because she’s been reporting on this for what feels like forever.

“It means that they can travel freely within the EU from this summer,” she replied.

Now the finer points of it can be found here and more practical info will no doubt come to light in the coming weeks, but when it comes down to it, this is the takeaway.

Free travel is back, mostly.

How do you feel about everything? Still waiting on things to ease? Looking for updates on third countries?

Let @johnstonjules know.

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. First stage of Belgium’s summer plan: what changes today?

Starting from today, dozens of coronavirus rules are being relaxed as part of the first stage of Belgium’s “summer plan,” as approved by the latest Consultative Committee. Read more.

2. Body of polar explorer Dansercoer will likely never be recovered

© Laurent Dick

The remains of polar explorer Dirk ‘Dixie’ Dansercoer, who died in a fall in Greenland on Monday, are unlikely ever to be recovered, according to a spokesperson for the expedition. Read more.

3. A third dose of coronavirus vaccine could be beneficial for some

Giving a third dose of a coronavirus vaccine to residents and staff of residential care centres would be beneficial, Belgium’s Public Health Institute Sciensano said Wednesday, basing their conclusion on the PICOV-VAC study conducted in January in two care centres in the country. Read more.

4. Belgium barks for Biden: patriotic dogs to celebrate president’s visit

Credit: canva

A group of American expats in Belgium is looking to celebrate President Joe Biden’s visit to Belgium with a covid safe gathering in the heart of Brussels’ European district, and they’re bringing along their dogs. Read more.

5. Shareholders begin Dexia mega-trial to reclaim €1.5 billion

The trial begins today in Brussels in which members of the Arco cooperative try to reclaim up to €1.5 billion in investments lost when Dexia bank went bust in 2011. Read more.

6. European Parliament gives final approval to EU travel certificate

The European Parliament has officially approved the EU Digital Travel Certificate, which will facilitate free movement within the EU without further restrictions during the pandemic, on Wednesday. Read more.

7. Lego fun-park will come to Docks Bruxsel

The canal-side shopping centre Docks Bruxsel in Schaerbeek will next year open Belgium’s first Lego fun-park, De Tijd reports. Read more.

Latest news

Eating less meat won’t actually help much with Flemish CO2 emissions
When it comes to the ways in which ordinary people can help to reduce CO2 emissions, eating less meat is often touted as an important solution. ...
At least one in seven coronavirus patients suffers from long-term Covid
Six months after becoming infected with the coronavirus, at least one in seven people still show symptoms connected to the infection, varying from ...
Operation Sky ECC: Major arrests and another large scale operation
A major operation took place last night in Belgium as a result of Operation Sky ECC, the name given to an investigation into organised crime that ...
Consultative Committee expected to discuss telework and state of emergency
On Tuesday afternoon, Belgium's Consultative Committee will be meeting earlier than expected to discuss the worsening epidemiological situation. ...
Highest number of new Covid-19 cases recorded since November 2020
The number of people testing positive for the coronavirus in Belgium is continuing to increase and has now reached levels last recorded in November ...
Prototype test plane crashes in Belgium after pilot ejects
A prototype aircraft crashed on Sunday afternoon in Yves-Gomezée (Walcourt, Namur province) during a test flight, according to several local media ...
EU questions Israeli decision to ban Palestinian NGOs
The Israeli government’s decision on Friday to outlaw six Palestinian civil society organisations operating in the West Bank has caused consternation ...
Gare Maritime: Brussels’ most exciting new architectural project
A generation ago, the Gare Maritime in the Tour & Taxis industrial site was an abandoned wasteland. It is now a model for urban renewal and ...
More politicians than ordinary citizens at the Conference on the Future of Europe
The second Plenary of the Conference took place on Saturday in the European Parliament in Strasbourg and discussed the contributions from the ...
Belgium’s Consultative Committee will meet today
The next meeting of Belgium's Consultative Committee, scheduled for Friday, has been brought forward to Tuesday at 4:30 PM, according to local media ...
Coca-Cola, Pepsi and Unilever are world’s biggest plastic polluters
Coca-Cola, Pepsi, and Unilever were found to be the world's biggest polluters of plastic in a report published by Branded on Monday. Over 11,000 ...
Four men charged with illegally buying thousands of live ducks to hunt on private land
Four Belgian men will appear in court on Monday facing charges related to the purchase of thousands of ducks, which were then released into a private ...