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10,000 Red Cross volunteers stand by to help care homes

Almost 10,000 volunteers from Red Cross Flanders are ready to be deployed in the region’s rest homes. By taking on logistical and basic nursing tasks, they will be able to reduce the pressure on rest home staff during the coronavirus crisis. Belgium’s capacity to test for Covid-19 infections has...

Only half of citizens would accept Covid monitoring apps

Using mobile phone data to track people’s movements and possible exposure to the coronavirus would be acceptable for around half of the population of Flanders, according to a survey published this week. The results also show a large majority worried about abuse of their data after the crisis is...

‘Disinfection tunnels’ and ‘safe cabins’ introduced at supermarkets

While in Boussu, supermarket-goers must enter through the ‘disinfection tunnel’, in Brussels, they are invited to visit the ‘StaySafe cabin’. The new installations are the first of their kind in Belgium, though likely not the last. The Intermarché in Boussu, Hainaut province, opened up its...

Summer sales in Belgium postponed until August

Following lobbying from the retail sector to postpone the annual summer sales period, federal minister of consumer affairs Nathalie Muylle (CD&V) has announced that sales will begin on 1 August. The summer sales normally take place in July. While the proposal still has to be approved by the...

Brussels municipalities to hand out facemasks to residents

The mayors of Saint-Josse and Woluwe-Saint-Lambert have announced that facemasks will be distributed to residents of the Brussels municipalities. Masks are currently being made by local organisations and volunteers. “We know that there is still no scientific consensus on the general use of masks,”...

Flemish schools prepare to reopen with 'preteaching' online

Schools in Flanders are preparing to resume teaching online after the Easter holidays, with a view to re-opening classrooms before the summer holiday. In an approach dubbed ‘preteaching’, pupils will start working on new material at home, and then revisit it when schools eventually re-open for...

What’s on (your computer) this week

One of the biggest cultural tragedies brought about by the measures to limit infections of Covid-19 is the closure of Jan Van Eyck: An Optical Revolution . Not only Belgium’s most significant exhibition of the year, it was a highlight in all of Europe and the cornerstone of Ghent’s big Van Eyck...

Summer festivals in danger as municipalities announce cancellations

The first municipalities have announced the cancellation of all events within their borders long after the current measures to limit the spread of the coronavirus have passed. The current measures are in effect until 19 April, though in all likelihood they will be extended in full or in part. Saint...

Exit strategy committee formed to open country back up in stages

Infectious disease expert Erika Vlieghe has been put at the head of a new committee formed to develop Belgium’s “exit strategy”. The group of 10 scientists, legal advisors and economists will determine how and when to ease off restrictions associated with the coronavirus in co-operation with the...

A wine bar? Public toilets? Tell Brussels what you want to see under Place du Jeu de Balle

What do you think should be done with the Second World War bunker hidden under Place du Jeu de Balle? If you are like most of the capital’s residents, you didn’t even know it was there. The bunker was used by Marolles residents to escape WWII bombardments. It was fitted with electricity and running...

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