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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.

Email    BBCA.NewsAndEvents@gmail.com


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

  • 5 Jan 2021 9:11 AM | Tim Reynolds (Administrator)

    Today (Tuesday 5 January) marks the official start of Belgium's coronavirus vaccination campaign. A pilot campaign was carried out between Christmas and the New Year to test logistics, in which 700 people were successfully vaccinated.


    In the first phase of the campaign, vaccinations will be given to around 200 000 residents and staff in care homes. The vaccine to be used will be the Belgium-manufactured Pfizer/BioNTech Comirnaty vaccine authorised for use across the EU just before Christmas (link to EU authorisation site). Some 87 000 doses are due to be delivered per week and each recipient of the vaccine will get two doses, 21 days apart, as specified by the manufacturer and the regulatory authorities. The first phase will continue into mid-February.

    Belgium plans to issue a certificate to everyone who is vaccinated against coronavirus that can be downloaded from the official website MaSante.belgique.be

    Testing update

    The Red Cross has opened a coronavirus testing centre at Brussels-Midi station, for rail passengers returning from a red zone. It is capable of carrying out 750 tests per day.

    Brussels' seven other coronavirus test centres are now keeping the same opening hours at weekends as during the week, to handle increased demand from returning travellers. The centres can be found on Boulevard Pachéco (centre), Albert (Forest), Mérode (Etterbeek), Heysel (Laeken), Molenbeek, Schaerbeek and Anderlecht, with a total weekly testing capacity of 70 000. To book a test go to: https://brussels.testcovid.be/.

    The Belgian government will be financing increased genomic analysis of Covid-19 samples to better understand the prevalence of the various strains of the virus in the country. From mid-January a couple of dozen Belgian laboratories will work on sequencing the Sars-Cov-2 genome working on analysis of some 1 000 positive samples - a quadrupling of the number analysed to approximately 2% of all samples.

    An analysis of samples from blood donors by the Red Cross and Sciensano suggests that 14.4% of the Belgian population currently possess antibodies against coronavirus.

  • 3 Jan 2021 1:50 AM | Tim Reynolds (Administrator)

    Our eighth Christmas 2020 walks contribution comes from Lynne and Jake from the English Youth Theatre in Brussels. 

    If you want to make a contribution to this series just send us a short video of a favourite festive walk, a few photos of a memorable meander or your musings on what 2021 holds for Brits in Belgium. All contributions gratefully received via the BBCA.NewsAndEvents@gmail.com email address.

    All the best for 2021 from all at BBCA and lets hope we all have a "Happy New Year"!

  • 1 Jan 2021 7:41 PM | Tim Reynolds (Administrator)

    Our seventh 2020 Christmas walk video - and first of 2021 - comes from BBCA committee secretary and Chair of the Royal Brussels Cricket Club (RBCC) Nick Compton.

    If you want to make a contribution to this series just send us a short video of a favourite festive walk, a few photos of a memorable meander or your musings on what 2021 holds for Brits in Belgium. All contributions gratefully received via the BBCA.NewsAndEvents@gmail.com email address.

    All the best for 2021 from all at BBCA and lets hope we all have a "Happy New Year"!

  • 31 Dec 2020 11:29 PM | Tim Reynolds (Administrator)

    Our sixth 2020 Christmas walk video comes from BBCA committee member and proud native of Kernow Simon Pascoe.

    It is not too late to join the fun and send us your video of your favourite festive walk, a few photos of a memorable meander or your musings on what 2021 holds for Brits in Belgium. All contributions gratefully received via the BBCA.NewsAndEvents@gmail.com email address.

    All the best for 2021 from all at BBCA - Happy New Year!

  • 30 Dec 2020 10:28 PM | Tim Reynolds (Administrator)

    From Thursday 31 December, new requirements come into force for anyone entering Belgium from a red zone. Belgium currently defines the majority of the rest of the world as a COVID red zone with the exception of Iceland, Japan, Corsica and some parts of Ireland, Norway and Greece.


    All travellers, regardless of citizenship or place of residence, must quarantine and take two coronavirus tests, seven days apart. The first test should be taken on the day of arrival, with the second seven days after. Only if the result of the second test is negative can their quarantine end.

    The decision followed an emergency meeting of the coronavirus consultative committee on Wednesday 30 December as Belgium anticipates an influx of travellers returning to the country from abroad over the next few days, despite the formal government advice not to travel over the festive season.

    "We want to be clear," said Belgian prime minister Alexander De Croo. "This clarity translates into a firm and formal obligation to self-isolate after your holiday and to take a COVID test twice."

    It is hoped that the tougher rules would also "be dissuasive" for anyone considering a foreign holiday during the Carnival half-term break.

  • 30 Dec 2020 9:49 PM | Tim Reynolds (Administrator)

    2021 is almost upon us but our 5th 2020 Christmas walk video comes from Zoe White who is Chair of the Brussels Branch of the Royal British Legion and has recently joined the BBCA committee.

    If you fancy shooting a video of your favourite festive walk or sending in a few photos of a memorable meander, do not hesitate to convey your contribution to us via the BBCA.NewsAndEvents@gmail.com email address.

    Best wishes from all at BBCA for a very Happy New Year.

  • 29 Dec 2020 4:24 PM | Tim Reynolds (Administrator)

    As you will be well aware, on 1 January 2021 British citizens in Belgium will wake up to a dramatically different relationship between the UK and the EU and this will have an impact on all our lives.


    In 2017 the ‘Brexit and the Belgian Brits (BABBS)’ Facebook group was set up as a support network for individuals with common Brexit-related problems. Now with some 1500 members, BABBS members share tips on how to obtain EU citizenship and other administrative issues, as well as Brexit-related news.

    In late November 2020, documentary filmmaker Anny Tubbs approached BABBS organisers with an idea to highlight how Brexit is affecting the ordinary lives of British people living in Belgium. She proposed to work with interested BABBS members on planning and crowdfunding the production of a short film to bring BABBS members closer together, give them a voice and use screenings to raise awareness of ongoing issues.

    The reasons why we Brits came to be in Belgium are many: some came for work, others for love. But each one of us has benefited from the freedom, spontaneity and flexibility that EU membership gave us. By highlighting these stories, the film will document a historic moment and explore what the future holds.

    BABBS is inviting Brits in Belgium to be a part of this community project by contributing to the fundraising for the film fundraiser. A dedicated fundraising webpage has been set up where you can choose to be an anonymous or recognised donor – see your name up in lights, or even spend half a day on set to experience movie-making ‘for reel’. The target for fundraising is EUR 10 000 and if the target is not reached then donations will be reimbursed.

    New Year’s Eve Brexit wake

    BABBS also invites you to a sombre occasion to mark the last day of the UK's transition out of the European Union. It will be a sad day and due to the COVID curfew the plan is for a short event from 7pm to 8pm on 31 December 2020 outside the British Embassy at Avenue d'Auderghem 10, 1040 Brussels (nearest Metro Schuman).

    Suggested dress: Mourning Black with EU Facemasks or similar and please bring a candle to light (or similar illumination).

    BABBS tell us that Ixelles police have limited the maximum number of people allowed for this event to 100 and COVID rules also restrict gatherings to no more than 4 adults in one group, so attendees will need to stand in groups of a maximum of 4 people (socially distanced of course).

    If you are thinking of attending the vigil, please fill in this Google doc so BABBS can liaise with the local police. You do not need to include your email address and/or GSM if you do not want to. You can also use the form to arrange to join a 4-person group before the event.

    The event will be filmed, so if you do not wish to appear in the film, please let the organisers know when you get there.

  • 28 Dec 2020 4:09 PM | Tim Reynolds (Administrator)

    Hello, I am Tim Reynolds. I am vice chair of the BBCA and do most of the posts on our website and social media. I am also secretary of the Belgium section of the Royal Society of Chemistry.

    2020 has obviously been a very strange year with COVID and associated lockdowns. Travel internationally has been difficult.

    But looking back it also had some spectacular sunny weather in Belgium and we enjoyed new walks around Kraainem where I live and more generally in the Flemish Brabant countryside. There is lot of great walking out there to discover. Much of it very reminiscent of parts of the British countryside we all know well.

    2021 will bring more challenges and anxieties to the British community in Belgium as the full implications of Brexit impact on our lives and those of friends and family both here in Belgium and back in the UK.

    But the BBCA is here to help and as the COVID situation improves we hope to see more of the community getting together. The BBCA and its associated charities and societies have been supporting our communities in Belgium for decades - literally centuries in one case - and will continue to do so into the future.

    So cheers – Happy New Year - and here’s to a much improved 2021!

  • 27 Dec 2020 12:19 PM | Tim Reynolds (Administrator)

    Our third festive walk contribution comes from BBCA committee member Tracie Ryan who took these evocative images of dusk falling in Brussels on a walk close to her home.

    “From Forest Park to Duden Park. A lovely chill mist descended as the evening approached. Lovely to have this on my doorstep,” she says.

    Don't forget to send us your video or photos from a favourite festive walk and tell us why you like it and your thoughts on your life in Belgium.

    Send your contributions to us via the BBCA.NewsAndEvents@gmail.com email address.

    Thanking you very much and best wishes for the festive period and 2021!

  • 26 Dec 2020 10:49 AM | Tim Reynolds (Administrator)

    Everyone at BBCA hopes you had a safe and satisfying Christmas experience. On to Boxing Day and our second 2020 Christmas walk video message is from BBCA Council Chair - Glenn Vaughan.

    Don't forget if you fancy shooting a video of your favourite festive walk or sending in a few photos of a memorable meander do not hesitate to convey your contribution to us via the BBCA.NewsAndEvents@gmail.com email address.

    Thanking you very much and Happy Christmas!

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