Council of State maintains Belgium's ban on non-essential travel

Council of State maintains Belgium's ban on non-essential travel
Credit: Belga

The Council of State rejected the request to suspend Belgium's ban on non-essential travel introduced for second-home owners on Tuesday.

Tweres, an interest group of second-home owners took Belgium's travel ban to the Council, which is the legal body dealing with cases questioning the legality of the decisions of all levels of government, as they wanted an exemption from the ban.

According to the Council of State, however, "insufficiently precise and accurate data" was provided to justify the urgency of a request for suspension of extreme urgency, reports the Belga news agency.

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In February, Jos Dumortier of Tweres said that the organisation was "not in favour of uncontrolled tourist trips, but we do want to make this possible for second-home owners."

The fact that second-home owners are not exempted from the ban is “illogical,” according to them, “because if you leave, you can no longer spread the coronavirus in Belgium. It would be more logical to ban people from entering the country.”

Last week, the Council of State also rejected another request for suspension filed by a second-home owner.

Following an official letter from the European Commission last week, Prime Minister Alexander De Croo on Monday stated that he was looking into alternatives to the travel ban, and aimed to achieve “greater enforceability” of the testing and quarantine measures, so the non-essential travel ban can be phased out.

Currently, Belgium's non-essential travel ban is set to remain in force until 1 April, but is expected to be reviewed at the Consultative Committee on Friday.

Maïthé Chini

The Brussels Times

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