Belgium bans Britain travellers due to Covid-19 variant
Britain is on a list of 27 nations that will also face the order which will take effect by June 27 at the latest, Jan Eyckmans, the spokesman for Health Minister Frank Vandenbroucke, told AFP on Saturday.
Belgium is concerned about the Delta variant, which first emerged in India, that has caused a surge in Covid cases in Britain, and forced the UK government to jettison plans to ease curbs from June 21.
The only exceptions for British or other non-EU travellers coming from a banned country will be diplomats on essential work and transport personnel, the government said.
Eyckmans said the government did not want to jeopardise the massive effort made by the Belgians just when the country's vaccination rate had become the fastest in the EU.
"Britain is five weeks ahead of us in their vaccination drive and they had to postpone their plans to lift restrictions," Eyckmans said.
"But this is a temporary situation that will be re-evaluated regularly," he added.
The decision was taken at a meeting on Friday of Belgian government's covid committee that sets the rules for fighting the spread of Covid-19 and will be published in the official journal in the coming days.
The other countries are Botswana, Democratic Republic of Congo, Jordan, Qatar, Nepal, Bolivia, Paraguay, Chile, Trinidad and Tobago, Colombia, Bangladesh, Uganda, Argentina, Zimbabwe, Eswatini, Lesotho, Namibia, Mozambique, Suriname, Peru and Pakistan.