Belgians who were recently in Catalonia are best quarantined. Virologist Marc Van Ranst says that now that a Catalan province has announced a new lockdown after a corona outbreak. “Problem: there is no legal basis to impose such a quarantine,” responds Health Minister Maggie De Block. “We are making the same mistake,” says Van Ranst.
In and around the city of Lleida (Lleida), in the autonomous Spanish region of Catalonia and about 150 kilometers west of Barcelona, a new lockdown has been announced. The number of infections increased again, so that everyone is asked to stay at home.
“Belgians who were recently in that region would be best quarantined,” virologist Marc Van Ranst tells our editorial staff. “These are the consequences of opening the borders. This can be a situation like in February and March: how many Belgians were there in Northern Italy? And how many are there in Catalonia now? We don’t know that and it will be very difficult to implement policy. ”
Van Ranst calls on the government to make a quick decision about what to do with the Belgians returning from that Catalan region. “Actually, there should be a decision today about Catalonia… Is a meeting already planned? Are we going to wait until after the weekend? ”
But it is unlikely that such a decision will be made. “Problem: there is no legal basis to impose such a quarantine,” said Health Minister Maggie De Block (Open VLD).
“We are making the same mistake as in February,” says Van Ranst. “We’d better stay home, I don’t think those journeys are vital. Now we know. We thought it was early to reopen the borders, but that was decided at European level. And at the same time there is a list of countries that can come here. That too is too early. Canada doesn’t allow anyone yet, we think that’s the smartest attitude at the moment. ”