Danny Gys / Reporters

Foreign Minister says that it too early to consider closing our borders

Speaking in an interview with VRT Radio 1’s morning news and current affairs programme ‘De ochtend’, the Belgian Foreign Minister Philippe Goffin (Francophone liberal) has called on Belgians that are currently holidaying abroad or are planning a foreign vacation to keep their eye on the travel advice given on the Foreign Ministry’s website. 

Visiting the website at regular intervals is particularly important as the situation with regard to COVID-19 can change quickly as the events of recent weeks have shown.

“Based on the advice received from Celeval the travel advice given can always be modified”, Mr Goffin said. Celeval is the body that analyses the eventual level of risk to Belgians of travelling to countries, regions or cities abroad.  Celeval meets several times a week and “This week there will certainly be new travel advice given”, the Foreign Minister said.

“I fear that more red zones (areas to which non-essential travel is forbidden) will be added to the list, but it is difficult to say we can only wait and see”.

With the recent increase in the number of new coronavirus infections it is also a possibility that some other country might add Belgium to their list of Red Zone countries.

Nevertheless, Mr Goffin believes that it is still too early to consider closing the borders again. During the first wave of infections Belgium’s borders were closed to all non-essential travel for around 3 months.

“It is still too early. I haven’t heard anything in this vein”. The Foreign Minister hopes that if the borders are closed again that this will be done as a result of decision at a European level and not as was the case in March of individual countries decided to close their borders. “It is best that we cooperate at a European level”.


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