Belgium

  1. Video content

    Video caption: Covid: Water cannons and tear gas fired at protesters in Belgium

    Belgium is the latest country to face unrest over new Covid-19 measures, with anger spreading across Europe.

  2. Unvaccinated Belgian care workers face the sack

    Belgium has seen almost 10,000 daily Covid cases in recent days (file pic)
    Image caption: Belgium has seen almost 10,000 daily Covid cases in recent days (file pic)

    Staff in Belgium's health and social care sector have been told they will be fired if they fail to get Covid vaccinations by 1 April 2022.

    Anyone who has not yet had a jab by the new year will be moved away from frontline care and given three months to get vaccinated, under the proposed law.

    Like much of Europe, Belgium has seen a surge in cases and several areas are seeing record numbers of Covid hospital admissions.

    On Monday Austria imposed a lockdown on anyone who had not yet been vaccinated. Now Belgian ministers have reached agreement on compulsory jabs for thousands of care workers.

    "It can't be right that there is still a small minority that haven't been vaccinated," said Health Minister Frank Vandenbroucke. "We're giving these people until 1 April next year to get themselves vaccinated."

  3. Coach Tour Guide

    Video content

    Video caption: Rhod takes a coach load of Welsh pensioners on a guided tour of Antwerp and Bruges.

    Rhod Gilbert tries his hand at a variety of jobs. Rhod takes a coach load of Welsh pensioners on a guided tour of Antwerp and Bruges.

  4. Northern Europe

    Video content

    Video caption: Monty Don visits the world's 80 most inspiring gardens: this time, in northern Europe.

    Monty Don visits the world's 80 most inspiring gardens: this time, in northern Europe. Including Sissinghurst Castle and Monet's garden at Giverny.

  5. European mask rules stricter - but not always observed

    Nick Beake

    BBC News, Brussels

    A woman pushes a shopping trolley past a sign for a coronavirus disease (COVID-19) vaccination centre installed inside a supermarket in Brussels, Belgium, August 30, 2021
    Image caption: Belgium has dropped mask requirements in shops, but Brussels is different

    In the UK, the conversation has returned to whether or not people should keep wearing masks, to help stop virus transmission, as daily case rates remain high.

    Across Europe, Covid rules have been as varied as the local dishes I've sampled on my recent travels.

    Some areas of Germany have stricter rules than others but you still see masks widely used on public transport and in offices.

    Meanwhile, in sparsely populated northern Norway there wasn’t a mask in sight. Not even when we had a quick drink with the then prime minister in a packed bar after a day of election campaigning.

    This month Belgium dropped the requirement for face coverings in shops and restaurants, although you still have to wear one in the Brussels region, where you must also now prove your vaccination status to eat indoors.

    But no matter where you are in Belgium you still have to wear a mask on public transport – just like Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, although not England.

    In Poland, face masks are supposed to be worn in all public places, apart from a handful of exceptions like forests and parks, but it felt like it was a matter of personal preference. We'll see if that changes across Europe if cases continue to rise.

  6. Mixed-heritage women sue Belgium over forced separation

    BBC World Service

    Lea Tavares Mujinga arrives for a hearing in the case of five mixed-race women against the Belgian State for crimes against humanity
    Image caption: Lea Tavares Mujinga, one of the women suing Belgium, was pictured arriving in court on Thursday

    Five Congolese mixed-heritage women separated from their families in the colonial era are suing the Belgian state for crimes against humanity.

    The women say they were taken away from their black mothers at birth solely on the basis of the colour of their skin.

    The five were among thousands of children taken from their families and put into the care of a religious order in the colonial era.

    Most of them were not recognised by their white fathers.

    Those who have gone to court were not brought to Belgium when the Republic of the Congo - as it was then known - gained independence in 1960.

    The Belgian state contests the designation of their plight as a crime against humanity, an offence for which there's no time limit.

    Read more:

  7. By Robert Plummer

    Business reporter, BBC News, Brussels

    Smurfs

    At an artists' studio in a run-down part of Brussels, the next chapter in Belgium's rich comic-book history is being sketched out.

    Read more
    next