Border with the Netherlands to reopen first? "I hope we can have decision next week"

The Belgian Interior Minister Pieter De Crem wants to have a decision about travelling to our neighbouring countries next week. "Things are moving, but we are not there yet. There are a lot of things to be discussed first. But I hope we can land a deal next week," Mr De Crem told the VRT. It looks as if the Netherlands have the best chance.  

When can we travel to the Netherlands again, or to Germany or France? The Covid-statistics have improved drastically over the past days. The countries are staging talks about the issue, but this is something that should be discussed on a European level as well.

Pieter De Crem (christian democrat) warns: "If the borders reopen, it is possible that certain conditions will apply." Yesterday, the EU proposed that borders can only be opened if two countries are more or less on the same pathway where the exit strategy and Covid statistics are concerned. This may pose a problem for Belgium and France: the north and east of France has been impacted more heavily than other parts. 

Peter De Wilde, the CEO of the Flemish tourist board Toerisme Vlaanderen, told the VRT's current affairs evening show "Terzake" yesterday that preliminary talks are going on, but that these are limited to the Netherlands and the German region of North Rhein-Westphalia at present. "This would give holiday makers some extra scope in the Low Countries," he said, adding that the Benelux coutries (Belgium, Netherlands and Luxembourg) could take a position together later on, when talks reach a next step. 

Radio 2