De Croo convinced that Belgium’s travel ban is ‘proportionate’
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De Croo convinced that Belgium’s travel ban is ‘proportionate’

Credit: Belga

Belgium’s Prime Minister Alexander De Croo is convinced that he can show the European Commission that the country’s ban on non-essential travel is proportionate and non-discriminatory.

On Tuesday, the Belgian authorities received a letter from the Commission, stating that they had ten days to justify the ban to the EU and that less restrictive measures were available to protect public health.

The Commission pointed out that the measures had to be “proportionate, temporary and non-discriminatory,” according to De Croo, who said that he is “convinced that we can prove that what we have decided meets these three conditions,” at the Federal Advisory Committee on European Affairs on Wednesday.

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Additionally, he repeated that the response to the Commission will be “discussed and decided upon” in the Consultative Committee on Friday.

The Belgian travel ban 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.

The ban was initially aimed at preventing the import of the more infectious coronavirus variants during the carnival holidays, but on 6 February, it was extended to 1 April.

This happened weeks before the ban was due to expire, and with “no reason” the extension, according to the Commission.

Maïthé Chini
The Brussels Times