Nicolas Maeterlinck

Border roads barricaded to prevent non-essential traffic

A number of minor roads that cross Belgium’s borders with France and The Netherlands have now been barricaded to prevent people from crossing the border without good reason. Under the measures intended to curb the further spread of the novel corona virus the borders were closed to all non-essential traffic (people needing to get to work, delivery vehicles, people making a journey to help a person in need…). 

However, despite this and the checkpoints installed along major roads, people have been using the many minor roads that straggle the border to try and cross it undetected.

It was not only the case that Belgians tried to cross into France or The Netherlands to, for example, go to supermarkets there. People from border areas of France were still crossing into Belgium to buy cheap(er) cigarettes and tobacco here, while the Dutch were still crossing the border to fill up with petrol or diesel as this is cheaper in Belgium than it is in the Netherlands.  

A number of municipal authorities have decided that it is time to act. The Limburg municipalities of Kinrooi and Riemst, that is just a few kilometres from the Dutch city of Maastricht, have blocked roads that cross the border. The same is true in Hoogstraten (Antwerp provice). There Flanders borders the Dutch Province of North Brabant. North Brabant is the province that has been worst hit by the COVID-19 crisis in the whole of The Netherlands. 

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