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How the holidays will disrupt traffic this weekend

On both Friday and Saturday, Touring predicts busy traffic in Belgium. Credit: shilin wang/ Pixabay.

Despite the spring break holiday period officially not starting until Saturday, many people already leave on Friday, disrupting traffic in Belgium the entire weekend.

The spring break holiday is traditionally the busiest winter sports period of the year, with about 256,000 Belgians leaving the country to go skiing or snowboarding in 2020, according to travel insurance and information company Touring.

If you are driving

On both Friday and Saturday, Touring predicts busy traffic in Belgium, with a high chance of traffic jams, especially on Friday evening and Saturday morning. On Sunday, everything should have calmed down again, according to a press release.

As the spring break period in Belgium’s neighbouring countries starts earlier or later, not a lot of issues are predicted while driving abroad.

In France, Touring expects generally smooth traffic, with a chance of traffic jams in the north-east of the country. Only in Rhône-Alps-Auvergne region, very busy traffic and definite traffic jams are certain, with peak hours being from 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM.

Germany, Austria and Switzerland, Touring expects generally quite busy traffic with some traffic jams, mostly in the south of Germany, but no major disruptions from 10:00 AM to 6:00 PM.

From Friday 28 February to Sunday 1 March, when most people are coming back, the busiest period will be Sunday afternoon and evening in Belgium.

If you are flying

At Brussels Airport Zaventem, travellers are experiencing “major disruptions” as the airport police are holding a work-to-rule strike on Friday, resulting in increasingly long lines for passport checks. The airport advises passengers to arrive at the airport at least three hours before their flights.

“It is unclear how long the strike will last, but the police have a strike notice until 1 March,” Nathalie Pierard, spokesperson for Brussels Airport, told The Brussels Times. “Disruptions could take place during the entire upcoming holiday period,” she added.

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The airport is expecting some 40,000 departing passengers on Friday, with the holiday period starting on Saturday, reports Het Nieuwsblad. About 30% of them will be non-Schengen passengers, according to the airport.

“As they will have to go through the manual passport checks, they should be at the airport at least three hours in advance,” said Pierard.

Chances are that the police will also hold strikes on Saturday, Sunday and during the entire holiday period, disrupting travel up until next weekend, when many people return to Belgium.

Maïthé Chini
The Brussels Times