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“The lockdown was our only way of fighting the coronavirus”

2020, June 15

Travelling to the vast majority of the Schengen countries is possible again since midnight. Last night, most of Europe’s internal borders have reopened, thus allowing tourists to travel across the borders. “Months ago, it was absolutely necessary to close the borders to prevent the coronavirus from spreading. The reopening of the borders today mainly means two things. Firstly, this is a new step towards the further normalization of our social lives. But secondly, we have to realize also that this reopening will make it difficult in the future to take a step back and to close our borders again”, said Minister Pieter De Crem this morning on the Dutch-speaking radio station Radio 1.

Belgians who want to travel again, can do so as of today to most of the Schengen countries. However, it is important that people who are planning a trip, inform themselves through Foreign Affairs in order to know the exact conditions that apply in their country of destination. “The website of Foreign Affairs offers a good overview. It uses colour codes to indicate whether you, as a Belgian, can travel to a certain country and under what conditions that would be possible”, according to Minister De Crem.

Finally, Minister De Crem pointed out that the lockdown measures in our country were absolutely necessary to get the virus under control. “Last week, an article appeared in the scientific journal Nature stating that the lockdown measures prevented some 3 million deaths in 11 European countries. In Belgium alone, the study estimates that between 100,000 and 120,000 deaths were avoided. Although each death is highly regrettable, it seems very reasonable to me to say that the lockdown in our country was the only way for us to avoid an immense tragedy”, concluded Minister De Crem.

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