This evening, the Belgian federal government and the governments of the federated states will take additional measures to tackle the coronavirus pandemic. The Consultation Committee will implement a ban on all non-essential travel.
The travel ban will start next Wednesday and will last until 1 March.
The ban comes after about 160,000 Belgians made a non-essential trip during the Christmas holidays, while the committee only advised against these trips.
There are still six exceptions that still allow Belgians to travel between 27 January 27 and 1 March:
- Business trips.
- Cross-border residents will still be allowed to cross the border without submitting to quarantine, but for a maximum of 48 hours.
- Help for a person in need.
- Studies: for example, a Luxembourg student studying in Brussels will always be able to cross the border.
- Family events, such as illness or the death of a loved one.
- Visits from separated parents who have children in shared custody living in a border country.
In a statement by President von der Leyen, the European Union (EU) acknowledged that the health situation in Europe remains very serious. And that the EU is increasingly concerned about different variants of the virus.
The EU also introduces a dark red zone, indicating that in this zone the virus is circulating at a very high level. Persons travelling from dark red areas could be required to do a test before departure as well as to undergo quarantine after arrival – this is within the European Union.
The EU doesn’t ban but discourages all non-essential travel both within the country and of course across borders.