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    Finland bans non-essential travel from Belgium

    Credit: Wikimedia Commons

    Finland has become the latest European country to ban all non-essential travel from Belgium, reimposing border controls in a bid to quell a coronavirus resurgence.

    The reintroduction of travel limitations will apply from Monday to all residents of Belgium, Andorra and the Netherlands coming into Finland for non-essential reasons.

    Only travellers returning home to Finland or going there for professional reasons will be admitted but subject to a mandatory 14-day quarantine, as Helsinki steps up efforts to contain new coronavirus infections.

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    On 27 July, Finnish authorities already moved to reimpose restrictions on travellers from Austria, Switzerland and Slovenia, citing a resurgence of cases in those countries, over a month after the EU Commission gave the go-ahead to the lifting of border controls between Schengen+ countries.

    The latest round of restrictions will see Belgium join the list of just under a dozen countries or territories from which Finland has banned or restricted travel, which includes EU members like France, Spain or Portugal.

    Finland is the latest country to introduce partial or general travel restrictions to travellers from Belgium.

    On Thursday, Germany banned non-essential travel to and from the virus-hit province of Antwerp, mimicking an earlier move by the Netherlands.

    Several countries require that all incoming traffic from Belgium either quarantines or takes a coronavirus test upon arrival, including Denmark (mandatory testing for the Faroe Islands and Greenland), Cyprus (mandatory test), Iceland (mandatory test or quarantine) and Latvia, Estonia, Ireland, Norway, the Netherlands and Slovenia (quarantine).

    The UK is also expected to announce increased restrictions to travellers arriving from Belgium, with officials set to announce the new restrictions on Friday.

    Gabriela Galindo
    The Brussels Times