Belgium enacts quarantine for returnees from EU’s infected zones
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    Belgium enacts quarantine for returnees from EU’s infected zones

    Credit: Belga

    Whether or not returning travellers will be quarantined when they arrive in Belgium will depend on which colour code the country they went to received.

    “The unstable health situation in some of these regions that were initially considered ‘safe’ requires a clear roadmap to reduce the risk of the epidemic flare-up in our country,” according to the Consultative Committee.

    The Committee is made up of ministers of the federal government as well as of the country’s communities and regions, and ensures cooperation between the different government levels.

    The general approach to cross-border travel restrictions and recommendations will distinguish between red, orange and green zones. These zones will be published on the Foreign Affairs website.

    Red zones are cities, towns, municipalities, districts, regions or countries that have been put back into lockdown by the country in question. 

    The list of red zones may be extended to cities, municipalities, districts, regions or countries considered to be a “very high risk” based on objective epidemiological criteria, including within the Schengen+ zone, if the federal evaluation cell (CELEVAL) decides so.

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    Belgium issues a formal travel ban for these zones. Travellers who still return from these zones, however, will be treated as high-risk contacts of infected patients, meaning they are required to be tested and quarantined.

    Orange zones are cities, towns, municipalities, districts, regions or countries for which a high health risk has been identified by the federal evaluation cell the basis of objective epidemiological criteria.

    Belgium advises strongly against travelling to these zones. However, travellers returning from these zones will be asked to undergo tests and quarantine.

    Lastly, green zones are cities, towns, municipalities, districts, regions or countries for which the federal evaluation cell identifies no or low health risk on the basis of objective epidemiological criteria.

    No special restrictions will be imposed on travelling to or returning from these zones, but precautionary measures still apply.

    When these rules will go into force, and which areas will be considered red, orange or green, has not been clarified yet.

    “Only the principle has been decided, the practical arrangements have not yet been determined,” Arnaud Gaspart, spokesperson for Foreign Affairs, told The Brussels Times.

    Maïthé Chini
    The Brussels Times