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3 Mar 2020 11:35 AM | Tim Reynolds

The Belgian Federal Public Service (FPS) Health, Food Chain Safety and Environment has established a website on the #COVID19 virus that is available in English as well as Flemish, French and German.

Contact us if you want the BBCA to post a News Story or an Event that is strongly linked to the British Community in Brussels.  We reserve the right to select items for publication and to edit items as required for style and space.

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News and Events -----------

  • 26 Mar 2020 12:14 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Sciensano, a Belgian scientific organisation working on human and animal health, publishes a daily briefing on the evolution of the COVID-19 epidemic at regional, national and international levels. Publication is usually around noon.

    You can access the latest briefing here (in French. Dutch also available).


    The above images shows data on the current distribution of confirmed cases of COVID-19 across Belgium (left) and the number of confirmed cases by region (right). The later image uses the date of the diagnosis where possible and therefore the there may be a delay in finalising more recent daily numbers. The data is from the Sciensano report of 26 March 2020.


    A more granular view of the distribution of cases is given above at commune level.

    Although progress is being made in containing the spread of the disease within Belgium, clearly there is still much to be done. And internationally the virus is continuing to spread. The Federal Government's National Security Council meets on Friday to consider if the lock-down should be extended beyond 5 April.

    Keep up to date with developments by bookmarking The Bulletin's COVID-19 webpage for the latest news and information.

  • 24 Mar 2020 6:21 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Looking after your mental health is especially important during the COVID19 coronavirus pandemic and our enforced isolation and social distancing.

    The disruption to our lives can lead to heightened anxiety and it is a particularly difficult period for people with existing mental health concerns and for those who may be facing problems for the first time.


    Sarah Crew at The Bulletin Magazine has talked to clinical psychologists Lisa Classen and Marie-Thérèse Kastl at CHS Belgium to see how this community mental health centre, educational testing service and 24-hour crisis helpline is helping people during this difficult time.

    Read the article here

  • 20 Mar 2020 11:53 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Three Brussels-based projects that are tackling social and/ or medical needs in response to #COVID19 in #Belgium and need your support.


    1/ The Fondation Roi Baudouin is coordinating donations to the CHU St. Pierre / UMC Sint-Pieter hospital for the procurement of ventilators and other vital medical equipment. You can donate here (web page in English).

    2/ The Covid-Solidarity platform is co-ordinating offers of help with requests for assistance with grocery shopping etc for the more vulnerable. Find out more about how to get involved or how to request assistance here.

    Or visit their Facebook Group here

    3/ The Serve the City Brussels initiative is responding to the #COVID19 crisis and has information on volunteering and other efforts in Brussels here

    All these initiatives deserve your support. And don't forget - we can celebrate and applaud the emergency services and everyone involved in the fight against COVID19 every evening at 8pm. Stay safe, stay strong.

  • 18 Mar 2020 9:08 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    The Belgian National Security Council made this Tuesday March 17, 2020 the decision to reinforce the measures already taken to fight against the coronavirus. These new measures come into force on Wednesday March 18, 2020 at 12 noon and will remain in effect until at least April 5, 2020.


    Personal hygiene guidelines as well as social distancing measures remain the best actions that everyone must respect. Their strict respect by everyone, from the youngest to the oldest, is a necessity to counter the virus. Everyone's civic sense and a spirit of solidarity with the weakest are essential.

    However, further efforts are needed to counter the further spread of the virus. It is crucial now to take and respect other measures.

    What does this mean in concrete terms?

    • Everyone must stay at home as much as possible to limit outside contact.
    • You can leave your home to:

    Go to a grocery store

    Go to the doctor

    Go to the pharmacy

    Go to the post office ATM

    Go to the bank counter

    Go to the petrol station

    Provide assistance to vulnerable people.

    • Non-essential stores are closed except:

    Bookstores

    Hair salons (one client at a time)

    Night shops (until 10 p.m.)

    Everyone must of course respect social distances

    • All food stores remain open.

    Access to supermarkets will be controlled in order to limit the number of people present at the same time inside (maximum 1 person per 10 m² and this, for maximum 30 minutes per person).

    • Markets are closed, unless they are essential for the food supply and insofar as the local authority can guarantee measures of social distancing.
    • Stores mainly selling animal feed are covered by the definition of food stores and may remain open.
    • Outdoor physical activities (walking, running, biking) are recommended but only between people living under the same roof or with a friend and limiting contact with others (1.5 meter distance).
    • Any other gathering is prohibited.
    • Hotels, restaurants and cafés must bring in their outdoor patio furniture.
    • Public transport must be organized in such a way that social distancing can be guaranteed.
    • Companies of all sizes can continue their activities provided they organize telework as much as possible or if they can guarantee measures of social distancing. If this is not possible, they must close. In the event of non-compliance with this measure, sanctions will be applied. This does not apply to crucial sectors and essential services.
    • All non-essential travel abroad is prohibited.

    Local and federal police will ensure strict compliance with the measures taken to fight against the coronavirus and help health professionals.

    We are all committed to act now.

    Social distancing should be applied as strictly as possible.

    Stay at home, take care of yourself and others!

    The full statement (in French) of the Belgian Prime Minister Sophie Wilmès can be found here

  • 17 Mar 2020 8:41 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Belgium will enter 'lock down' to combat the #COVID19 virus from tomorrow (Wednesday 18 March). The decision was made by Belgian National Security Council (CNS) involving the Prime Minister, the Deputy Prime Ministers, the competent ministers, the representatives of the federated entities and the heads of the security services at a meeting today.


    This confinement begins Wednesday from noon and will continue until April 5, but is subject to review. The police have been requested to strictly enforce the lock down.

    The population should stay at home , but will be allowed to go out in an emergency or to go to grocery stores, pharmacies, the post office, bank or to refuel their vehicle.

    Any and all meetings are prohibited.

    Physical activity is also allowed outside: walking, jogging, cycling, but only with a loved one who lives under the same roof. Care should be taken to maintain a distance of 1.5m between people. Via RTBF

    See the full CNS press conference (via RTBF). 

  • 13 Mar 2020 8:54 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    The Belgian government issued new regulations to tackle the #COVID19 pandemic in Belgium on the evening of Thursday 12 March. From the night of Friday 13 March, all schools in Belgium are closed until after the Easter holidays, however some school facilities will remain open to children of parents working in healthcare etc and creches remain open.


    All events, whether indoor or outdoor and regardless of size, are cancelled and cafes and restaurants will close. Pharmacies and food stores can stay open all week long, but other stores must close at the weekend. Public transport will run as normal, but should only be used for essential travel.

    Belgian prime minister Sophie Wilmès advised companies to allow employees to work from home wherever possible and non-essential meetings should be cancelled or conducted via teleconferencing. Care homes for the elderly will not admit any visitors until the end of March.

    Belgium is now in the "federal phase" of crisis management, which means that the federal government can make orders applying to the whole of Belgium in areas that would not normally be in their competence.

    See more (in French), including the full video of the government press conference, here.

  • 11 Mar 2020 1:12 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Work has started on Brussel's new north-south metro line 3 that will link Forest and Evere via the city centre.


    The plan is for tram lines 3 and 4, which run underground between Albert (Forest) and North Station to be turned into a full metro line by 2024. Beyond North Station, a new metro tunnel will be dug passing Schaerbeek town hall with the line terminating at Bordet station in Evere. The full line aims to be ready by 2030.

    Find out more on the dedicated STIB-MIVB Metro3 website.

  • 9 Mar 2020 10:30 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    The Bulletin has established a web article on the Corona virus outbreak in Belgium that will be updated with the latest information as it is confirmed.


    As of Tuesday 10 March, Belgium has recorded 314 confirmed cases of coronavirus (190 in Flanders, 82 in Wallonia and 42 in Brussels).

    You can find The Bulletin article here

  • 6 Mar 2020 8:19 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    BREXIT NEWS: The UK Government has today (6 March 2020) allocated £3 million to support UK nationals in the EU. The money will be used by selected charities and organisations to provide practical support for UK nationals living in the EU.


    Each organisation will receive government funding to support UK citizens who may find it harder to complete all the paperwork required for residency applications. This includes pensioners, disabled people, those living in remote areas or who have mobility difficulties, and those who require help with language translation or interpretation.

    The selected charities include the armed forces charity, SSAFA, the London-based specialist legal charity the AIRE (Advice on Individual Rights in Europe) Centre, and the International Organisation for Migration. No specific organisation based in Belgium has been announced.

    You can read the full UK Government announcement here.

  • 3 Mar 2020 11:35 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    The Belgian Federal Public Service (FPS) Health, Food Chain Safety and Environment has established a website on the #COVID19 virus that is available in English as well as Flemish, French and German.


    The site contains useful information on the virus, symptoms and the latest news on testing etc. 

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