Coronavirus: Expert group to review travel measures for at-risk returnees
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    Coronavirus: Expert group to review travel measures for at-risk returnees

    © Belga/Eric Lalmand

    Belgium’s Risk Management Group (RMG) is expected to meet on Monday to roll out potential measures for travellers returning from destinations where new outbreaks of coronavirus have recently emerged.

    On Saturday, Walloon Health Minister Christie Morreale called on the group to outline country-wide measures for travellers returning from Catalonia and other at-risk regions.

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    Her request came after Catalan authorities imposed a new local lockdown at the weekend in Segrià, around 100 km west of Barcelona, after the area reported a new surge of coronavirus cases.

    Reports of the local outbreak in northern Spain led Health Minister Maggie De Block to urge travellers returning from the area to Belgium to ask their doctor for a test and self-quarantine pending the results.

    No measures are currently in place to enforce De Block’s requests, with travellers expected to follow through with her recommendations on their own initiative.

    The RMG is a federal public health service body tasked with rolling out measures to protect public health and advising the interior ministry when it comes to health-related crises.

    Belgium’s Foreign Affairs Ministry on Sunday reviewed travel advise for Spain, downgrading the country from green to orange in its colour-coded risk system.

    Travellers heading to a Spanish destination other than Segrià are requested to fill in a form at least 48 hours in advance indicating their place of departure and whether they have had risky contacts.

    The news comes as virologists in Belgium speak out about the reopening of borders on 15 June, with many advising against non-essential travel this summer.

    Gabriela Galindo
    The Brussels Times