Confirmed: Belgium will lift non-essential travel ban on 19 April
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Confirmed: Belgium will lift non-essential travel ban on 19 April

Credit: Belga

Belgium will officially lift its ban on non-essential travel abroad after the Easter holidays, the new Ministerial Decree published on Sunday confirmed.

The latest update of the Ministerial Decree published in the Belgian Official Journal by Interior Minister Annelies Verlinden states that the article declaring the travel ban will be replaced from Monday 19 April.

The previous rules for travel will be in force from then on, meaning that people from outside the European Union will not be allowed to travel to Belgium for non-essential reasons. People in Belgium, however, will be allowed to go on holiday to other EU countries again – even though it remains strongly discouraged.

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The Belgian travel ban initially entered into force on 27 January to forbid people from going on holidays during the carnival holidays, but it was extended several times, leading to repeated criticism from the EU, as it goes beyond European recommendations.

The ban was increasingly criticised, and on Friday, European Justice Commissioner tweeted that the Commission wanted an official end date for Belgium’s travel restrictions.

Following the Consultative Committee, Prime Minister Alexander De Croo confirmed that the ban remained in force until 18 April (the last day of the Easter holidays), and in a Facebook Live session following the press conference said that “after that, we assume that we will have other systems to test and quarantine.”

Maïthé Chini
The Brussels Times