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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.