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    Belgium to quarantine travellers from 18 more EU areas

    Credit: Belga/J.A. Gekière

    This weekend, Belgium published an updated list of EU regions and countries that are now considered “red” or “orange zones” for travel, meaning travellers from there will be asked to quarantine upon return.

    The list of red, orange and green travel zones on the website of Belgium’s Foreign Affairs Department was updated this weekend with more red zones, as well as several orange ones.

    For a simplified explanation of what the zones mean, click here. 

    For red zones, Belgium issued a formal travel ban. People returning from a red zone are required to be tested and quarantined when back in Belgium.

    The entire country of Sweden is now considered a red zone. The number of infections in the country has been increasing for a while, but Sweden was considered a green zone until recently. According to Foreign Affairs, the decision to skip over orange and consider Sweden a red zone was based on the advice of the experts from CELEVAL, the evaluation cell of the Federal Crisis Centre.

    Leicester in the United Kingdom, which was placed back in lockdown, is also considered a red zone.

    In Portugal, the areas of Amadora, Odivelas, Sintra (Queluz-Belas/Massamá-Monte Abraão/Agualva-Mira Sintra/Algueirão-Mem Martins/Rio de Mouro/Cacém-São Marcos), Loures (Camarate, Unhos, Apelação/Sacavém-Pior Velho), Lisbon (Santa-Clara) remain red.

    For Spain, it still concerns the district of La Segria (Lérida province, in Catalonia) and the district of La Mariña (Lugo province, in Galicia).

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    Initially, no areas or countries were considered an orange zone, but now Foreign Affairs published a list.

    Returning travellers will be asked, but are not obliged, to be tested and quarantined, and need to have “increased vigilance” when returning from one of these areas, according to Foreign Affairs.

    Austria: Upper Austria (Oberösterreich)
    Bulgaria
    Croatia
    Spain: Aragon, Catalonia
    Italy: Trento
    Luxembourg
    Portugal: Algarve, Alentejo
    Czech Republic: Moravskoslezský
    Poland: Śląskie
    Romania
    United Kingdom: Midland, North East & Yorkshire, Northern Wales and Northern Ireland
    Switzerland: Ticino

    All other areas in the EU, Schengen and the United Kingdom are green zones, according to Foreign Affairs.

    However, that does not mean that you can travel anywhere. Some countries, like Norway, are not allowing travellers from Belgium yet. Additionally, Malta is not allowing Belgians yet either, but announced that it would do so soon.

    In other areas, such as Cyprus, Belgians are allowed to enter, but subject to some conditions, such as taking a coronavirus test.

    Maïthé Chini
    The Brussels Times