STOCK MARKET BSE NSE

Belgium bans travel from India, Brazil, South Africa over Covid variants

People with Belgian nationality and people who have their main residence in Belgium can return from India, Brazil, and South Africa to Belgium, Prime Minister Alexander de Croo announced.

Published: 27th April 2021 07:48 PM  |   Last Updated: 27th April 2021 07:48 PM   |  A+A-

Belgian Prime Minister Alexander de Croo (Photo | AFP)

By AFP

BRUSSELS: Belgium on Tuesday became the latest territory to ban travel from India, Brazil, and South Africa, major countries hit by fast-spreading coronavirus variants.

"Passenger travel by air, train, boat, and bus, including transit traffic, from India, Brazil, and South Africa to Belgium will be banned," Prime Minister Alexander de Croo announced in a statement.

"People with Belgian nationality and people who have their main residence in Belgium can return from India, Brazil, and South Africa to Belgium. They are strongly advised not to travel to these countries."

There will be some exceptions to the ban for essential travel by some transport workers and diplomats, but otherwise, the ban will be strictly enforced.

Sammy Mahdi, Belgium's minister for asylum and migration, welcomed the decision, but said he hoped the measure would be "very temporary".

"There's only one thing to do to move towards a normal life where everyone can travel freely, vaccinate, vaccinate, vaccinate," he said.

Other European countries have begun to introduce suspensions, bans, or restrictions on arrivals from countries with coronavirus variants that experts fear could outpace vaccination drives.

But Belgium has a particular reason to be concerned.

Last week, the country detected some 20 Indian students positive with the Indian variant. They had arrived in mid-April on the same bus from France, after landing at Roissy airport in Paris.

According to health authorities, the British coronavirus variant is currently the most widespread in Belgium -- accounting for nearly 86 percent of cases.

The Brazilian at 4.9 percent and the South African at 3.7 percent are next, according to figures released on Monday by the Brussels region.



Comments

Disclaimer : We respect your thoughts and views! But we need to be judicious while moderating your comments. All the comments will be moderated by the newindianexpress.com editorial. Abstain from posting comments that are obscene, defamatory or inflammatory, and do not indulge in personal attacks. Try to avoid outside hyperlinks inside the comment. Help us delete comments that do not follow these guidelines.

The views expressed in comments published on newindianexpress.com are those of the comment writers alone. They do not represent the views or opinions of newindianexpress.com or its staff, nor do they represent the views or opinions of The New Indian Express Group, or any entity of, or affiliated with, The New Indian Express Group. newindianexpress.com reserves the right to take any or all comments down at any time.

flipboard facebook twitter whatsapp