With the emergence of a number of new variants of coronavirus there is growing concern about people returning to Belgium from trips abroad. GEMS member and Professor of infectious diseases Steven Callens says that “We now have a window of opportunity. The level at which the virus is being passed on is lower here than in neighbouring countries. We need to use this to allow the vaccination programme to run in the best way possible”.
Professor Callens added that “This is why we (GEMS) have issued the advice that non-essential travel should be discouraged”.
The biostatistician and GEMS member Professor Geert Molenberghs says that “There are various forms that this could take, it’s up to the government to decide. Negative travel advise could be issued in such a way that travel was seriously discouraged. Also, the strict application of the measures in force such as quarantine and testing for those that do decided to travel”.
The group of experts also calls for more stringent checks on whether travel said to be essential really is essential. Professor Callens adds that there needs to be less travels. The GEMS report calls for an agreement to be reached at EU level on cross-border travel.