Ban travel abroad? “I do not exclude that we go further”, warns Frank Vandenbroucke

Experts are worried about the growing presence of the British variant in our territory, and call on the authorities to ban non-essential travel.


Online since 01/17/2021 at 2:10 p.m.

By Belga and the editorial staff

IThere will be a kern (Restricted Ministerial Committee, Editor’s note) tomorrow and it will be a question, alongside vaccination, of what to do to prevent variants of the virus from entering Belgium. There are working groups that are looking into more closure, ”Frank Vandenbroucke announced on VTM this Sunday at noon.

The period of 48 hours spent abroad to impose tests and quarantine must be tightened according to the Minister of Health. Restrict to 24h? “I do not specify, but we must strengthen the dike around our country. “

“It is absolutely not smart to take vacations on the other side of the border, but if we prohibit, then we must concretely organize the ban, which is not easy. I do not exclude that we go further in the way of making it impossible to go abroad, and effectively prevent the virus from entering. “

We are currently aware of around 200 cases of people carrying variants of the coronavirus in Belgium. This Sunday morning, we learned that the British variant has infected 128 people in Houthulst, Flanders, including 75 residents of a nursing home.

According to Marc Van Ranst, at the microphone of the VRT in the radio program “De ochtend” (Radio 1) on Friday, it would be logical to ban non-essential travel altogether, to avoid traffic beyond the borders of these new variants of the coronavirus. “To strongly advise against is not the same as to prohibit. (…) We are currently doing things well, it would be good to avoid the arrival of these variants ”.

Asked Friday morning also on Bel RTL, the Walloon Minister of Health Christie Morreale also considered that it would be “the same prudence” to prohibit non-essential travel, while adding not to have the competence for this.

The question comes up regularly on the table, and it is a delicate subject at European level, where we stress the importance of maintaining the free movement of goods and people, which is in the interest of the single market.

“I fully realize that these things are complicated, but sometimes it is necessary (…) In any case, we have to control,” Marc Van Ranst said on Friday. The latter does not fear for the moment of new confinement, “but we must be ready”.

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