Interior Minister: “Lockdown was only measure we could have taken and closing the borders was an essential part of this”

From today Belgium’s borders with our neighbouring countries are open again and we are able to travel freely to France, Germany, Luxembourg and The Netherlands as well as a number of other European countries. Speaking on VRT Radio 1’s morning news and current affairs programme ‘De ochtend’ the Belgian Interior Minister Pieter De Crem (Flemish Christian democrat) said that the reopening of the borders at midnight on Sunday had gone smoothly.  

However, it is still unclear when we will be able to travel outside Europe again.

“The European Commission is working towards 1 July, but the aim is to get all countries to agree so that reciprocity can be guaranteed. Both travel from and back to Europe should be possible, but I can’t rule out that some countries will take extra safety measures with regard to the testing of quarantining of travellers”, Mr De Crem said.

Mr De De Crem added that it was the right decision to close the borders for a prolonged period. “There was a discussion about whether the measure was useful or useless. However, the figures on infections and fatalities show that it had an effect straight away. The lockdown was the only measure that we could have taken and closing the borders was an essential part of this.”