To enhance domestic tourism, the Belgium government is giving free ten-journey rail passes to all residents. This is to ensure that the country’s economy gets a boost.
Similarly, there is one more give away. A VAT cut, higher welfare payments, and a tax-deductible €300 gift check. Employers can give these checks to their staff. To use in restaurants or on trips to the theater or museums.
In the third phase of easing the lockdown restrictions, the country has allowed all businesses to operate again. Consequently, Hotels, cafes, and restaurants are all open but, all are taking social distancing measures.
However, Belgium has one of the highest death rates in Europe. It had more than 9,600 deaths out of its 11.5 million population.
Certainly, not all residents were abiding with the lockdown measures. Prince Joachim, a nephew of Belgium’s King Philippe, had to apologize. As he broke the lockdown restriction and went to Spain to attend a party earlier this month.
Good News for the Residents
Belgium is all set to reopen its borders for other European countries on June 15. The cost of this rail pass is €83 for passengers over 26 years old. Residents can use this rail pass free from July 1 to December 1. This means you save your €83 and travel with more ease. Moreover, the residents can take their bikes on the train free of cost.
The Belgian capital of Brussels and the major cities of Bruges, Ghent, and Antwerp are all accessible by train. So, are the forested hills of the Ardennes region.
National Rail Company was not consulted
This is a good offer for passengers. But, the government did not consult the National Railway company.
The head of the public rail company SNCB, Sophie Dutordoir, criticized this move of the government. She said that there were some serious concerns for the state-owned SNCB, as there was no consultation.
however, they also found their travel promotion tactic like a silver lining. NCB spokesperson Dimitri Temmerman said “We think it’s a good thing that our government wants to promote the use of public transport as a sustainable way of traveling,”