Belgium urged to take action on non-essential travel
Sunday, 17 January 2021
To overcome the Coronavirus pandemic, it is better to work on non-essential travel, biostatistician Geert Molenberghs said a day after Friday’s meeting of the Group of experts for the COVID-19 management strategy, GEMS.
“The experts are concerned, but you certainly cannot speak of panic,” said Molenberghs, who is linked to the Catholic University of Leuven and the University of Hasselt. New infections have gone down in the past few days while hospitalisations and deaths continue to drop, he explained.
In order to keep reducing infections, non-essential travel such as city trips or longer holidays should be avoided as much as possible, he recommended.
“To organise that, it would be necessary to define as clearly as possible what essential travel is and who can undertake it,” he argued. “I’m thinking in terms of professional travel, people needing to go to school or reunited families on both sides of a common border. We won’t be able to prevent such travel.”
Mr. Molenberghs insisted that this was epidemiological advice, and that it was up to the authorities to decide. “The politicians can make sure our opinions are legally possible,” he said. “I have every confidence this can work.”