Belgium decided to temporarily ban all passenger traffic from India, Brazil and South Africa, on Tuesday at an electronic meeting of the Consultative Committee.
Passenger transport by flight, train, boat and bus, including transit traffic, from India, Brazil and South Africa to Belgium will be prohibited, according to an announcement from Prime Minister Alexander De Croo's cabinet.
Interior Minister Annelies Verlinden will publish a Ministerial Decree to put the measure into effect as soon as possible, the announcement states.
Only "a very limited number of essential journeys" will still be allowed:
Professional journeys of transport personnel and seafarers,
Journeys of diplomats, staff of international organisations and persons invited by international organisations whose physical presence is indispensable for the proper functioning of these organisations, in the performance of their duties.
In these cases, an official certificate has to be submitted to demonstrate that the journey is essential.
Additionally, exceptions to the testing and quarantine rules no longer apply for non-Belgian residents travelling from India to Belgium and staying for less than 48 hours, or for Belgian residents returning to Belgium after a stay of fewer than 48 hours in India.
The same rules already apply to South America, South Africa and the United Kingdom.
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People with Belgian nationality and people who have their main residence in Belgium can still return from these three countries, but they are strongly advised not to travel there.
Anyone coming from one of these countries wanting to enter the Belgian territory will be given the highest priority in terms of controls and checks, both concerning the Passenger Locator Form (PLF) obligation (such as controls at airports and major railway stations) and the compliance with the obligatory testing and quarantine.
The federal government is closely monitoring the evolution of the epidemiological situation.
Further consultation is foreseen at the EU level, and in particular with Belgium's neighbouring countries, to ensure a coordinated approach.
The Brussels Times