Travellers opting to leave Belgium for the festive period in the face of government recommendations have faced criticism online, after photos of Charleroi Airport packed with passengers surfaced this weekend.
Posted on Twitter, the photos show crowds of people standing close together in the departure hall of the airport, which saw nearly 16,000 passengers on Friday, Saturday and Sunday.
In the meanwhile @ Charleroi Brussels South airport, Belgium. How do we want people to understand sanitary Covid rules when seeing this! Food 4 thought... pic.twitter.com/1Hbf6uSnVn— Christophe Reiter (@CRReiter) December 21, 2020
Despite the photographs, the mandatory face mask rule was followed and people were social distancing, according to Brussels South Charleroi Airport BSCA, with airport police watching over the situation.
The image of the busy airport comes less than a week after photographs surfaced of a crowded bar in the airport departure lounge. Speaking at that time, the airport also said that the health measures were respected and that controls were taking place.
Currently, Belgium continues to advise against travelling abroad in the face of the ongoing coronavirus epidemic. On Friday Belgium’s Consultative Committee tightened rules for incoming travel and Federal Health Minister Frank Vandenbroucke said travel abroad was “a very bad idea,” adding that “quite frankly, it is just stupid.”
For those who are considering travelling, or will be travelling back to Belgium, here is how Belgium's latest travel rules work.
The Brussels Times