Belgium bans all passenger carriages from India, Brazil and South Africa, except for a limited number of essential flights. The advisory committee decided this, Tuesday, in Prime Minister Alexandre de Crowe’s cabinet. Home Secretary Anneliese Verlinden (CD&V) will convert the decision into a ministerial order as soon as possible.
It is therefore prohibited to transport passengers by plane, trains, boats and buses – including transit traffic – from India, Brazil and South Africa to Belgium. An exception remains only for the professional movements of transport personnel and seafarers, and for the movements of diplomats, employees of international organizations, and persons invited by international organizations, whose physical presence is necessary for the proper functioning of these organizations.
Travel is only permitted with a certificate from the employer and a certificate from the Belgian diplomatic or consular center, if it can be proven that the trip is necessary. Those who hold Belgian citizenship or who mainly reside in our country can return to Belgium from India, Brazil and South Africa. However, their movements to these countries are strongly discouraged.
Quarantine rules will get stricter. For those who, as non-residents of Belgium, are traveling to our country from India and staying in our country for less than 48 hours, or if a person residing in Belgium has been in India for less than 48 hours, then there is no longer an exception. Apply to testing and quarantine rules. Stricter rules already apply to South America, South Africa and the United Kingdom.
The control authorities are required to give the highest priority to monitoring people coming from the countries concerned, both with regard to compliance with the passenger location model (such as checks at airports and major stations) and compliance with mandatory testing and quarantine.
A logical and necessary decision
Minister of State for Asylum and Immigration Sami Mahdi (CDV) is satisfied with the decision. He had already called for a temporary suspension of student immigration last week. I am not looking for the strictest measures, but the safest ones. With what we now know about coronavirus mutations, it is impossible to allow these trips. “As we see the light at the end of this tunnel, we have to be very careful,” Mahdi said.
Virologist Marc Van Ranst (KU Leuven) describes it as a “logical and necessary decision”. Lots of people have argued hard for this. The domino was falling, now that the UK, Germany and the Netherlands, among others, have imposed travel bans. If we hadn’t done that, we would have felt sorry.
The virologist continues it would be ideal if there were travel bans on a European scale. But this decision is a good thing. The list of countries can also be lengthy, or countries can withdraw.