Belgium gives 10 free train journeys to all residents at the time of facilitating the lock

(CNN) – The Belgian government announced on Saturday that it would give all residents, as part of a, a free rail passage for ten trips package of measures to strengthen domestic tourism and the economy.

Other announcements include a reduction in VAT, higher social payments and a tax-deductible gift of € 300 that employers can give to their staff for use in restaurants or on trips to the theater or museums.

Belgium entered the third phase of its mitigation measures on 8 June, with almost all businesses re-operating, including hotels, cafes and restaurants, although social distance measures were in place.

Despite this relatively quick release from prison, Belgium has one of the highest death rates per capita in Europe, with more than 9,600 deaths in a country with 11.5 million inhabitants.

And not all residents struggled with the existing measures – Prince Joachim, nephew of King Philip of Belgium, was forced to apologize earlier this month, when he was hit by a coronavirus after a prison break to attend a party in Spain.
Belgium will reopen its borders with other European countries on June 15th railway passage for ten journeys, which is usually available for 83 euros for travelers over the age of 26, is distributed free of charge to all residents who will be able to use them between July 1 and December 1. Belgians can also ride their bikes on the train for free.

The Belgian capital Brussels and the capitals of Bruges, Ghent and Antwerp are accessible by train, as are the wooded hills of the Ardennes region.

It sounds like a good innovation for a country that is relieving a stalemate – but the National Railway Company says the government has neglected them in consulting.

Sophie Dutordoir, head of the public railway company SNCB, taken to Twitter on Sunday criticize the move, saying the lack of consultation has raised serious concerns in the state-run SNCB.

“We think it’s a good thing our government wants to promote the use of public transportation as a sustainable way to travel,” SNCB spokesman Dimitri Temmerman told CNN.

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“However, the way this decision was made on Saturday without any consultation raises very serious questions. The free distribution of train trains to all Belgians raises the question of the sanitary safety of our passengers and staff. The SNCB will not jeopardize that safety in any way, which is why worked these last months. ”

Temmerman reinforced Dutordoir’s statement on Twitter, saying “we have therefore requested an urgent consultation and all necessary assistance to avoid any risk of overcrowding of our trains and platforms. At the same time, the logistical and financial aspects need to be clarified.”

Even after discounts on children and other ineligible passengers, the proposal could potentially burden the country’s rail network with nearly 100 million additional trips by 2020.

Safe social distancing on public transport is one of the biggest challenges facing cities around the world as they see measures to mitigate prison measures.

Many states have made it mandatory to wear masks, and railroad companies have considered seat reservation models. London and Chinese design firm PriestmanGoode has proposed seating solution enable greater storage of the bicycle using a blocked space for wheelchairs for social distance.
Belgian Federal Justice Minister Cohen Geens was the first government official to respond, reports Brussels Times“It is quite true that the government should have established contact with Sophie Dutordoir,” he told the Flemish news channel VTM Nieuws. “If that didn’t happen, we’re just to blame ourselves.”
Last month, the European Union published an action plan reopen its internal borders, safely strengthen its hospitality sector and revitalize rail, road, air and sea links.

Meanwhile, the UK, which officially left the EU on October 31st, halted the trend by controversially imposing a 14-day quarantine on all arrivals in the country, taking effect – like the Belgian phase of three measures – on June 8th.

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