News in English


Family visits across the border possible again as of tomorrow

2020, May 29

The Minister of Home Affairs and Security Pieter De Crem has just signed a new Ministerial Decree with regard to the COVID-19-virus. The key element of this new decree is that our countrymen who have relatives in one of our neighbouring countries, will be able to visit them again as of tomorrow. “By doing so, we meet the wish of people who have not seen their loved ones for a long time”, said Minister De Crem.

On Friday, March 20, our country decided to reinforce border controls on all non-essential inbound and outbound travel to and from our country. This decision also had to ensure correct compliance with the federal measures taken at the border areas to fight off the coronavirus. “Non-essential travels are prohibited in our country since half March to prevent the virus from spreading further. The only way to also enforce this measure at our national borders, was to reinforce border controls”, said Minister De Crem. “One of the consequences of this was that, as was the case for the rest of our country, our countrymen who had relatives in one of our neighbouring countries, could no longer pay them a visit”.

Since Sunday, May 10, limited visits are once again possible. However, for our countrymen who have relatives abroad, no solution had been found yet. This problem has now been solved thanks to this new Ministerial Decree. “These last few weeks, I have had a lot of contact with the competent ministers of our neighbouring countries to solve this situation as well. After all, in order to allow such contacts, our country also depends on the epidemiological situation in our neighbouring countries and on the governmental policy of these countries. I’m very pleased that we have at least now found a solution with regard to family visits : our countrymen can now visit their relatives again. It goes without saying that those who cross the border, must comply with all regulations in the country of destination. Moreover, I trust that all these people will show responsibility and I assume that they will deal sensibly with the renewed freedom that has been offered”, concluded Minister De Crem.

For all other cross-border traffic (with the exception of family visits, free movement of goods and essential travels), our country joins the other European countries that want to restart all traffic within the European Union and the Schengen area, at the latest by June 15.

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