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Brussels British Community Association

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 -----------

  • 4 Nov 2021 8:35 AM | Tim Reynolds (Administrator)

    Tis' soon the season to be jolly and Brussels International Singers will be holding their 2021 Christmas Carol Concert on the evening of Friday 17 December from 19h30. The venue is the Koninlijk Conservatorium Brussel at Regentschapsstraat 30a, 1000 Brussels.

    Tickets cost €15 prepaid / €18 on the door for adults and €10 prepaid / €12 on the door for under 15s. Further information and ticket reservations can be made via email – brusselsintsingers@gmail.com or phone – 0497 871363.

    You will need to show your Covid Safe Ticket and Identity Document to gain entry on the night. More details below.


  • 27 Oct 2021 8:09 AM | Tim Reynolds (Administrator)

    The Belgian consultation committee discussed the state of the COVID-19 epidemic on Tuesday (26 October) and decided to extend the obligation to wear a mask, the Covid Safe Ticket and teleworking to try to stop the recent increased circulation of the virus.


    The virus’s circulation has intensified sharply in recent weeks, partly due to the increase in the number of contacts and activities inside. The average number of new infections is 5,300 per day, an increase of more than 70% from last week.

    While the situation in hospitals remains manageable with a weekly average of 115 admissions, it has also increased over the past week.

    While closing areas or restricting activities is not necessary at this time, the epidemiological situation calls for caution and vigilance. Therefore the following measures come into effect across Belgium from Friday, 29 October.

    Extension of the obligation to wear a mask

    The current obligation to wear a mask, for example in public transport and in the medical and non-medical contact professions, is extended to a general obligation to wear a mask in the following interior spaces:

    • Stores and shopping centres;
    • Care establishments;
    • Areas accessible to the public in companies, public buildings, court buildings
    • Establishments intended for cultural, festive, sporting and recreational activities, including theatres, concert halls, cinemas, museums, indoor amusement and theme parks, indoor fitness centres and sports centres;
    • Libraries, game libraries and media libraries;
    • Worship centres

    Wearing a mask is not compulsory in places where the Covid Safe Ticket is used.

    The Covid Safe Ticket

    For public events, the federal government requires the use of the Covid Safe Ticket for events from 200 people indoors and 400 people outdoors. When using the Covid Safe Ticket, the obligation to wear a mask is waived.

    The application of the Covid Safe Ticket will be compulsory from 1 November in all hospitality and fitness establishments in Belgium. For staff, wearing a mask will be mandatory from 29 October.

    Telework

    Teleworking is strongly recommended for all staff members of companies, associations and service providers. Unless this is not possible due to the nature of the business of the business or the provision of services. The expansion of teleworking should reduce the number of contacts in the workplace and on public transport.

    Testing policy

    Contact testing and tracing remain crucial lines of defence. At the same time, overburdening general practitioners must be avoided.

    Therefore, the Committee decided that the testing centres would remain temporarily open during the winter period.

    The capacity for contact tracing is also ensured, so that people who test positive are contacted as quickly as possible. The regional authorities are taking all the necessary initiatives to achieve this.

    Third dose of vaccine

    The Committee asks the Ministers of Public Health to organize the administration of a booster dose for the entire population, as soon as the need for this third dose is scientifically proven.

    Pandemic law

    The Committee takes note of the federal government's decision to declare the epidemic emergency for up to three months, and approves of this decision. Belgian federal entities can always take measures which go beyond the federal baseline measures outlined above.

  • 19 Oct 2021 11:43 PM | Tim Reynolds (Administrator)

    Did you know that one in three of the residents of Brussels are foreign nationals? But these international Brussels residents do not have the right to vote in Regional elections. Now the Brussels Government wants to hear from these International Brusselers and are looking for ways to guarantee them a real political representation in their ‘home town’.


    Giving non-Belgians a vote in regional elections would require a change in the Belgian Constitution, which will require action. So, over the summer people have been creative looking at different ways to ensure that the voice of International Brusselers is heard in Brussels politics?

    Find out more about this initiative in this video.

    Now vote on the ideas

    Hundreds of international Brusselers submitted ideas to improve living in Brussels for all internationals residents. A wide range of constructive ideas have been proposed and now the project has entered the 'Voting phase'. You are invited to take a look at the proposals on the dedicated regional website – and vote for your favourites!  

    What ideas do you support the most?

    The ideas with the most votes will pass to the next phase where ideas are upgraded to full-fledged recommendations for the Brussels Regional Government.

    Check out the site, vote for the best ideas, and raise your #BrusselsVoice!

    #BrusselsForPeople!

  • 18 Oct 2021 9:31 AM | Tim Reynolds (Administrator)

    To access Brussels' cafes, restaurants, gyms and sports facilities, cultural venues and museums, banqueting facilities, congress centres, or to visit someone in a hospital or retirement home you now need to be able to provide proof that you are fully vaccinated, or have recently tested negative for coronavirus, or have antibodies from a recent infection (within 180 days) by showing your Covid Safe Ticket.


    Your Covid Safe Ticket can be printed out via the masante.belgique.be website or displayed as a QR code on your smartphone using the CovidSafe app. If you do not have access to the internet, you can obtain the ticket by calling 02 214 19 19 and a printout will be posted to you.

    Venue owners and event organisers use the CovidScan app to check that the QR code is valid. The ticket is not required for staff (restaurant and café waiters or organisers of a cultural event etc.) as workplaces are not within the remit of the scheme.

    After an initial awareness-raising period of two weeks, fines ranging from €50 to €500 for the public and €50 to €2 500 for venues and organisers could be issued. Commune mayors also have the power to instruct local police to close a venue down for a maximum of three months in the event of repeat non-compliance. Presenting a fraudulent Covid Safe Ticket can also lead to prosecution. The measures are provisionally in place in Brussels until 15 January. In Wallonia, the ticket will come into force on 1 November. At present Flanders is not operating the system.

  • 15 Oct 2021 11:58 AM | Tim Reynolds (Administrator)

    From Tuesday 9 November to Wednesday 17 November the Belgian Red Cross will be holding a grand second-hand book sale in Brussels.


    Following the various COVID lockdowns, the Red Cross have two years’ worth of books in stock. Francophones in the city are well aware of this normally annual Book Fest – the last event raised some €63 000 for the Red Cross – but we are informed that there is also a “huge supply of books in English” and most of them will be available for the bargain price of €1 for 2 volumes!

    So, to get in your supply of winter reading matter, head down to Rue de Stalle 96, 1180 Uccle between 10am and 6pm during the sale period and pick up your bargains. To access the sale, you will need to take with you your Covid Safe Ticket or provide proof of a negative lateral flow test taken less than 48hours previously.

    Spread the work to friends, family and colleagues and help support the fantastic and vital work of the Red Cross in Belgium.

    You can find out more about the work of the Red Cross in Belgium on their website and Facebook page

  • 2 Oct 2021 6:08 PM | Tim Reynolds (Administrator)

    Leading up to 17 October 2021, the Brussels-based charity Community Help Service (CHS) are inviting friends and supporters to walk 50 km in celebration of CHS’s 50th anniversary and raise money to support CHS’s valuable work.


    Walkers will be asked to gather pledges for each km that they walk and on Sunday 17 October all will meet up to walk either 5km or 10km (the choice is yours) from the CHS offices in Avenue des Phalènes through the Bois de la Cambre to complete the challenge.

    After this final exertion, all are invited for refreshments afterwards at CHS HQ, plus a visit to our next door neighbour's fascinating garden that featured in the BBC production of Les Miserables.

    To register for this fundraising event or to obtain more information, please email CHS on: walkforchs@chsbelgium.org.

    What does CHS do?

    CHS has been supporting the international community in Belgium since 1971, regardless of nationality or circumstances . No-one should feel that they are alone – and help from CHS is only a telephone call away.

    CHS operates a Mental Health Services Centre in Brussels, housing an international team of professional therapists who provide support for a comprehensive range of mental health issues. All the CHS therapists speak English and many also work in other languages. The therapists are supported by a team of volunteers who also manage the administrative aspects of CHS, a non-profit organisation.

    CHS also operates a 24/7 Helpline in English, for children, adolescents and adults. Calls are free of charge, anonymous and confidential. The Helpline is staffed by a team of volunteers that is recruited, trained, supervised and supported by the mental health professionals working with CHS.

    You can always donate direct to CHS via this web page. and the service also relies on volunteers.  


  • 24 Sep 2021 12:42 PM | Tim Reynolds (Administrator)

    The British Chamber of Commerce in the EU & Belgium (BritCham EU & Belgium) is organising the 2021 edition of the Expat Financial Affairs event on Thursday 7 October from 17h00 to 20h00 at the British School of Brussels (BSB), Pater Dupierreuxlaan 1, Tervuren. This event is open and free for everyone and BBCA will be there! The event is kindly sponsored this year by The Fry Group, ING Bank, and The Brussels Times.

    As an expat living in Belgium, you will have to make important financial decisions on a regular basis. Expat Financial Affairs is the most opportune event to obtain essential advice in English on how to effectively organise your finances as an expat or foreigner living in Belgium.

    From buying real estate to planning your retirement. From financial planning to sustainable investments. All your questions will be answered during informative presentations during our event. And alongside the workshop sessions (see programme below), you can also visit our exhibition area with stands where you can network, engage in one-on-one conversations with experts and ask all your questions in person.

    At the end of the event, you are invited for a drink in the exhibition area, where you can network with fellow expats, visit our stands and follow up directly with speakers on specific questions.

    Make sure you register to secure your spot! See you there.

    More information and registration for the event here.

    Programme details below


  • 9 Aug 2021 11:15 AM | Tim Reynolds (Administrator)

    It may still be summer, but its never too early to plan ahead!

    It is therefore with great pleasure that the Brussels British Community Association (BBCA) requests your company at their annual Christmas Cocktail event to be held (subject to relevant COVID restrictions at the time) on the evening of Friday 10 December 2021 at a prestigious venue in Brussels.


    Further details to follow including how to register for the event. We look forward to seeing you there!

  • 20 Jul 2021 11:39 AM | Tim Reynolds (Administrator)

    Many thanks to everyone who came along to the BBCA Summer Party on 11 July. The event team has totted up the income from the various stalls and we can announce that around € 2000 has been raised for our charitable causes.

    As well as donations to our four charities, the British Charitable Fund, Community Help Service, the Royal British Legion Brussels, and the Wednesday Club, that will be decided in the near future, the BBCA committee has decided to make an immediate donation of € 500 to the Croix Rouge Flood Appeal from the proceeds of the Summer Party.

    More than 30 people have died in the floods, which hit large parts of Liège, Namur and Luxembourg provinces, as well as parts of Walloon and Flemish Brabant, in the week after our event. More than 100 people are missing and the destruction to property is immense. Today (20 July) a minute's silence was held at noon for the victims of the floods.

    If you would like to make a personal contribution to the flood appeal there is a direct donation page accessible from the Belgian Croix-rouge website home page where you can donate using debit or credit cards, Bancontact or virement. The direct donation page is here.

  • 12 Jul 2021 10:07 PM | Tim Reynolds (Administrator)

    Our thanks to everyone who supported the BBCA Summer Garden Party at the Royal Brussels Cricket Club on Sunday 11 July. It was great to see so many people - many for the first time, for a long time - and the weather was very kind too.

    A close fought cricket match provided the background for Pimms, a BBQ, tea and cakes and some traditional children's games. Not forgetting the raffle and a short speech from Ambassador Martin Shearman.

    Great fun was had by all and we hope to have raised a substantial amount for our four charities: the Community Help Service, the British Charitable Fund, the Brussels Branch of the Royal British Legion and The Wednesday Club.

    If you want to relive the event - or see what you missed - take a look at the photo sideshow below, all images courtesy of our man with the camera Mr Simon Pascoe, or browse the images at your leisure here!


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