Possible lifting of travel ban doesn’t prompt much optimism from Brussels travel agents
Wednesday, 14 April 2021
Non-essential travel to and from Belgium is currently banned, but Minister Frank Vandenbroucke (Forward) has already indicated that the ban will probably not be extended from 19 April, with the country instead switching to a colour-coded map and corresponding quarantine measures.
But even if the travel ban is lifted from 19 April, many travel agents in Brussels are still not optimistic about their industry’s prospects, according to reporting from Bruzz.
“At the moment we still have a lot of bookings that were made at the end of last year, but I expect that we will have to cancel at least 80%,” Chantal Hermans of CIC Voyages told the Dutch-language news outlet.
Hermans said that travellers are worried about making any bookings at the moment because they don’t know what the quarantine procedures will be like upon their return to Belgium.
“We hope that this will be discussed at the Consultative Committee,” said Hermans.
Many travel agencies are currently completely closed, and those that are open aren’t getting many bookings.
Travel agency TUI is also hoping for some answers regarding travel restrictions soon.
“We’re already getting a lot of questions before summer. People want to know where they can go,” TUI Belgium spokeswoman Sarah Saucin told Bruzz.
At Omnia Travel, they expect everything to pick up a bit in September.
“But it won’t be until 2022 that everything will be back to normal,” said head of sales Sabine Loots.
It seems likely that not much will change immediately for travellers after 19 April. Most countries around Belgium do not currently allow tourism or do so only under strict conditions, such as a negative coronavirus test and/or quarantine.
Travellers must also (almost) always go into quarantine when they return to Belgium.