Arek Rataj

Belgium warns against all non-essential travel to the Chinese mainland

The Belgian foreign ministry has modified its travel advice for China.  There is a warning against all travel to Hubei Province, the heart of the novel corona virus outbreak, while there is advice against non-essential travel to China bar Hong Kong. 

Belgium tightened up travel advice following talks with EU partners and China.  Belgium is repatriating nationals who wish to return from Hubei in consultation with other European countries.  Some 15 nationals are believed to be in the province.  In all some 600 EU nationals are thought to be in the area.

The foreign ministry advice means Belgian travel organisations are cancelling trips to China.  Travel firms will look into alternatives for their customers.  Customers can either accept an alternative destination or get their money back.  Only dozens of people are thought to be affected as the travel season for China usually starts at Easter.

Ghent University is cancelling trips to China for staff and students.  People already there can return at the university’s expense. Academic activity in China is at a standstill. Other Flemish universities have already taken similar action. Students returning from China are urged to take notice of any symptoms.

No special measures are being taken with regard to visiting Chinese students, though the university is asking for precautions to prevent the transmit of all viruses to be observed.