Belgium will not start travel with 15 non-EU countries named on the bloc’s safe list for now, as per the government decision.
If neighboring countries reopen to external countries in the meantime, Belgium will reintroduce spot checks at the border. The country has maintained unrestricted travel within the EU since June 15, after halting non-essential cross-border travel in March due to the coronavirus.
The EU plan was to reboot travel from 15 countries, including Rwanda, Serbia, Montenegro, Australia, Japan, Morocco, Thailand and Canada, from July 1.
But during a meeting of Belgium’s kernkabinet, ministers determined that in some countries the health situation is not adequate to restart travel, while others haven’t met the principle of reciprocity since they aren’t admitting travelers from Belgium.
The decision will be subject to constant evaluation.
Foreign Affairs Minister Philippe Goffin previously said the country would take at least until July 7 to come up with the necessary arrangements to restart global travel, “taking into account health precautions that are essential to control the epidemic.”
EU countries agreed in June to recommend restarting travel from countries outside the EU on the condition that their infection rate is similar or below the EU average. The country-by-country assessment also looks at countries’ capacity to deal with the virus, the reliability of data and the evolution of the infection rate.
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