Corona update: Travellers must quarantine, teleworking is required


Current coronavirus measures remain largely the same, but travellers coming back to the country are now required to self-isolate for seven days

"Don't travel"

The coronavirus consultation committee met today and made the decision to retain the measures that are currently in place, and to tighten the measures regarding travel. With the number of infections and hospitalisations on the rise, it is not the time to relax any measures, the prime minister announced at a press conference following the meeting.

“We have accomplished quite a lot together in the last eight weeks,” said prime minister Alexander De Croo. “At the peak of the second wave, we were seeing 220,000 infections per day. Every day, enough people to fill the Sportpaleis heard that they were infected with the virus. Today, that figure is 10 times lower.”

That is because of the current strict measures that are in place in Belgium, he emphasised. “It is we who will decide what the evolution of the figures is. It is we who decide what the evolution will be in our hospitals.”

Teleworking, said De Croo, must be taken more seriously. “It isn’t an option,” he said. “It is required where at all possible.”

I am going to ask you again: Don’t travel. In most countries, the situation is worse than here

- Prime minister Alexander De Croo

He said that more checks would be carried out to ensure that people who are going to work must do so. He gave no details on where and how the checks would be done, but options are inspection in commuter trains and in rush-hour traffic. “Companies that do not follow these rules can expect hefty fines,” said De Croo.

Another stricter measure is that citizens who travel outside the country to a red zone must quarantine for seven days upon their return. Only a negative test can end the qurantine in fewer than seven days. Almost every country at the moment is a red zone.

Anyone returning to the country must fill in a Passenger Locator Form at least 48 in advance of returning. Anyone leaving the country for less than 48 hours does not need to fill out the form or to quarantine.

Travellers coming into Belgium who do not live here will have to present proof of a negative coronavirus test. Travellers arriving from abroad in airports and train stations will be checked.

De Croo, however, emphasised that people should not travel. “Travelling is strongly discouraged. I am going to ask you again: Don’t travel. In most countries, the situation is worse than here.”

Photo ©Jasper Jacobs/BELGA