Belgium in Brief: Saving The Holiday Season


No matter how you look at it, it’s beginning to look a lot like… the holiday season.

How people celebrate at this time of year varies depending on tradition and family holidays but no matter where you are, December is a month of seeing people.

Or, at least, it should be.

With the end of November rapidly approaching, the storm clouds are gathering for yet more restrictions to dampen the festive period.

Belgium’s Consultative Committee convened at 8.00 AM this morning to decide on the best plan for the country. Depending on when you get around to reading this they might even have revealed what it is they decided. Currently, they haven’t.

Let’s take a look at what the experts have said on end-of-year celebrations ahead of the meeting.

Marc Van Ranst: “Those celebrations are still a month away,” he said but added that festivities will probably not be “completely normal like in 2019 yet. But whether it will be as drastic as in 2020? I do not think so either.”

Frank Vandenbroucke: “Avoid too much contact, especially when indoors. I am hoping for good Christmas and end-of-year celebrations but let us be strict now. And even then, I cannot make any promises. We must do what is necessary right now.”

Leaks are suggesting lots of things, but these are yet to be confirmed. Official announcements will be made by Prime Minister De Croo at 1:00 PM.

So what do you think is going to happen?

Let @johnstonjules know. 

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1. Consultative Committee will announce latest measures from 1:00 PM

The Consultative Committee will announce the latest changes to Belgium’s coronavirus restrictions during a press conference from 1:00 PM, according to the cabinet of Prime Minister Alexander De Croo. Read more.

2. Even with strong action now, ‘we will still have a few weeks of misery,’ says Vlieghe

Even if the Consultative Committee takes powerful and clear decisions today, Belgium will still have to endure a few weeks of misery while the number of infections decrease, says infectious disease expert Erika Vlieghe. Read more.

3. Police strikes at Brussels and Charleroi airports cause delays

Police unions are taking action at Brussels and Charleroi airports this Friday morning, causing delayed services at both locations. Read more.

4. Belgium confirms promise to return looted object during Congo visit

Belgium has said it will look into returning all goods and works of art from the colonial period, which could result in thousands of objects being returned in the coming years. Read more.

5. Men speak far more than women in Walloon Parliament

After a detailed analysis of dialogue from the Walloon Parliament in 2020, it has been found that a staggering 82.4% of speech comes from male speakers, according to a study carried out by dada analyst Robin Devooght of the Roi Baudouin Foundation. Read more.

6. Belgium records highest number of new cases since start of pandemic

An average of 16,762 infections per day is now recorded in Belgium, with an absolute record of more than 25,000 infections in one day last Monday, according to figures published by the Sciensano public health institute on Friday morning. Read more.

7. Brussels tunnels blocked by Uber driver protest

Several tunnels in the centre of Brussels were blocked on Friday morning by Uber drivers protesting against a ruling by the Brussels Court of Appeal that drivers can no longer work with the ridesharing app. Here’s more.





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