What's new on 1 October?

In Flanders, corona face mask rules are being relaxed tomorrow. A face covering will no longer be mandatory at work, in shops, and in restaurants and pubs, among other places. However, many restrictions remain in place in Brussels, and to a lesser extent also in Wallonia, where a Covid Safe Ticket is necessary in quite some places. Where travel is concerned, you will need an international passport to go to the U.K. 

No problem if you forgot to bring your mouth mask to the supermarket in Flanders, as from tomorrow. You will no longer have to wear one. The same goes for restaurants and pubs. Pupils in secondary school will also be able to ditch the mouth masks. 

In fact, mouth masks will only have to be worn in a minority of cases in Flanders, like on buses, trams, or trains, and inside train stations, hospitals or care homes. Professions involving direct physical contact also belong to the exception category.  

Not in Brussels

However, while the situation in Flanders is improving, nothing much will change in Brussels where strict(er) rules are still applying and where a Covid Safe Ticket or corona passport will be needed to enter a number of places or events like sports clubs, gyms, museums, cinemas or festivals. 

Everybody from the age of 16 will have to show a Covid Safe Ticket. A face mask is also being maintained in the Brussels hospitality industry, contrary to Flanders, and teleworking is still strongly advised in the capital. This is because the vaccination rate in Brussels are still a lot lower than in Flanders. 

Wallonia is also maintaining some more restrictions, but is not going as far as Brussels.  

Stricter car checks and higher wages

A couple of other things are changing as well. If your car is older than four years and you have present it at the annual technical check, bear in mind that stricter rules will apply to everything that involves the car lights. Minor problems will lead to a red card more easily, whereas only a warning was given in the past. 

Wages for civil servants will go up with 2 percent from October, a consequence of the high inflation - life was almost 3 percent more expensive in September compared to September last year.  

Pensions and social benefits had already gone up, and wages for other employees may follow, depending on the collective labour agreement in each sector. 

An international passport to go to Britain

And beware if you would travel to the Vatican or to Great Britain. You will need a Covid Safe Ticket to enter the Vatican, while an international passport will be required to enter the U.K. if you come from the Continent, one of the consequences of Brexit. 

Top stories