AP2009

Cross-border shopping permitted again

The ministerial order that allows people in Belgium to visit family living in a neighbouring country also allows us to cross the border to go shopping. The order took effect today (Saturday 30 May). As we reported earlier Belgians and people living in Belgium are now permitted to visits family members (but not friends) that live in neighbouring countries (France, Luxembourg, Germany, The Netherlands and the UK via the Eurostar rail service). 

However, the ministerial order allowing this for the first time in two and a half months also states that shopping in a neighbouring country is allowed too. However, the ministerial order goes on to say that this should only be done out of necessity and that it is not recommended that you cross the border to go shopping.

The Interior Minister Pieter De Crem (Flemish Christian democrat) clarified that those crossing the border to for example visit a supermarket will not have to prove that they have family living in the country they wish to enter.

The Interior Minister stressed that idea behind the relaxation of the rules was not that people should starting taking day trips across the border, but rather to allow people to make essential purchases. Mr De Crem also said that the stationary border control posts will disappear and be replace with mobile teams that will check cross border movements.