EU gives Belgium ten days to justify non-essential travel ban
Share article:
Share article:

EU gives Belgium ten days to justify non-essential travel ban

Credit: Belga

The European Commission has given Belgium ten days to provide more explanations about its ban on non-essential travel, according to a letter from the Commission.

The letter to the Belgian authorities was signed by Salla Saastamoinen, the Director-General of DG Justice at the Commission, according to the Belga news agency.

“In the case of the travel ban imposed by Belgium, the Commission considers that less restrictive measures would have been possible to protect public health,” she wrote.

Saastamoinen stressed that “no reason” was given for the extension of the travel ban. Additionally, the decision to extend the ban was taken weeks before the initial travel ban – which was in force until 1 March – was due to expire.

Related News:


Besides Belgium, Germany and several other European Member States also received a letter from the Commission in response to the restrictions on free movement that they introduced as a result of the coronavirus crisis.

Prime Minister Alexander De Croo already announced that the ban would be reviewed during the Consultative Committee on Friday, but the Commission’s criticism now added some extra pressure to adapt the measure.

This weekend, Federal Health Minister Frank Vandenbroucke already said that it would be “difficult to maintain [the ban],” adding that “in the EU, where you work with open borders, it is very difficult to keep them closed.”

On Friday 12 February, the EU had already expressed “a certain amount of concern” about the extension of Belgium’s travel ban, of which it was only officially informed about a week after it went into force.

The Belgian travel ban initially entered into force on 27 January, and even though the other EU leaders did not raise objections when Prime Minister Alexander De Croo asked about the measure at an EU summit, the ban goes beyond the European recommendations.

Maïthé Chini
The Brussels Times

Latest news

Anti-vaxxers demonstrate against Covid Safe Ticket in Brussels
Hundreds of supporters of the anti-vaxx movement gathered on Saturday outside the headquarters of the Pfizer pharmaceutical company to protest ...
Belgium’s investment funds total 260 billion euros in assets
Belgium’s funds industry grew by 5.3% (13 billion euros) in the second quarter of this year, bringing investment funds available to the public to ...
Brussels to Luxembourg by train in two hours soon possible
The fastest train ride between Brussels and Luxembourg currently takes almost three hours, but that could be slashed to about two hours thanks to the ...
Daily Covid infections up by almost 30% in Belgium
Between 6 and 12 October, an average of 2,438 people were infected with the Covid-19 virus every day, according to figures from the Sciensano public ...
Over 80,000 companies in Belgium non-compliant with anti-money laundering meassures
Over 80,000 companies and non-profits in Belgium are still not compliant with the Ultimate Business Owner (UBO) register, which is required of them ...
Increase in tax exemption for donations in Belgium fails to meet expectations
The increase from 45% to 60% in the tax exemption for donations, decided by the former federal government in June 2020, has cost Belgium more than ...
Sex workers in Belgium to get more social rights protection
The social rights of sex workers will soon be better protected in Belgium, Belga News Agency reports. The Council of Ministers has approved a draft ...
Belgian firms sent almost 266 billion euros to tax havens last year
Hundreds of Belgian firms sent close to 266 billion euros to tax havens last year, De Tijd reported on Saturday. Any Belgian individual or firm ...
Belgian investigator wins prestigious US prize
Olivier Hardy, an investigator with the federal police’s anti-terrorist unit in Brussels, DR3, received on Friday a "Top Cop" prize in Washington for ...
Pegasus Project: European Parliament awards journalism prize to investigation of use of spyware
The Daphne Caruana Prize for Journalism was awarded on Thursday to the journalists from the Pegasus Project coordinated by the Forbidden Stories ...
Belgians can now test their knowledge of driving rules and win prizes
The Walloon Road Safety Agency (AWSR) launched on Friday a quiz to allow the general public to test their knowledge of the highway code. Last year, ...
600 extras wanted for film about Belgian ‘Porn King’ and notorious Antwerp nightclub
A Belgian movie telling the story of a notorious Antwerp nightclub with connections to a Belgian 'Porn King' is looking for 600 extras at the end of ...