Belgium keeps borders closed for travellers from 15 countries the EU considers “safe”

It has been decided that Belgium’s borders will remain closed to travellers coming from a total of 15 countries that were declared “safe” with regard to coronavirus. The decision was taken at a meeting of the Federal Cabinet on Monday afternoon. 

Consequently all non-essential travel from Algeria, Tunisia, Morocco, Rwanda, Serbia, Montenegro, Georgia, Australia, New Zealand, Canada, Uruguay, Japan, South-Korea, Thailand and China. However, Belgian nationals wishing to return home from these countries will be allowed in.  

Last week the Council of the European Union suggested allowing travellers from these “safe” countries to enter EU member states from 1 July. However, it was left to individual member states to decide for themselves whether they did so. Belgium postponed making a decision until 7 July (tomorrow). Now the federal cabinet has decided that travellers from these countries will not be allowed into Belgium “until further notice”.

VRT News sources say that the Federal Government took its decision as it believes that either there are still too many health issues related to the novel coronavirus in the countries concerned or that there is still no reciprocal agreement with them. If our neighbours decided to allow visitors from the 15 “safe” countries in, the Belgian authorities will set up unannounced border checks at our borders.

The EU’s list of “safe” countries was drawn up based on the average number of new infections during a two-week period. If this is lower than the average in the EU a country would be considered “save”. Another prerequisite for safe country status is that the trends in the coronavirus statistics in that country must have been down compared with the previous 14-day period.

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