Avoid unpleasant surprises in the coming days: what's closed, what's open?

With a long weekend ahead of us, it may be practical to check out which public services will continue and which will be suspended, to avoid unpleasant surprises. Here's a short list.  

Tomorrow is 15 August, a bank holiday in Belgium for the occasion of the Assumption of Mary into Heaven - Belgian holidays are still dominated by the Catholic calendar.

Banks, post offices and most local services in cities and municipalities will be closed. Take care when you take the public transport, the roster will be adapted to Sunday's schedule. 

Post offices will also remain closed on Friday. Belgian mail will deliver newspapers, magazines and parcels at your home, but no letters. The banks will be open. Rail services will change slightly as some rush hour trains will be scrapped. It is best to check the Belgian Rail website or app to make sure you don't lose any time, and this also goes for Saturday, when a strike will be held by the independent rail union OVS.

The Belgian Rail company NMBS will check how many of its staff is willing to work, to compile a skeleton roster for Saturday to get the highest possible number of trains going. Last time, some 50 percent of rail services could eventually be maintained. It will be possible to check Saturday's adapted schedule online or via the app as from tomorrow.