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Non-essential travel banned: European Commission puts pressure on Belgium

The European executive wants an answer within ten days as to the disproportionate nature of the ban on non-essential travel extended to April 1. Five other countries including Germany are targeted.

Lhe European Commission wrote to the Belgian authorities to obtain within ten days a response to the disproportionate nature of the ban on non-essential travel extended to April 1, a measure that will be the subject of an evaluation on Friday at the Concertation Committee. Five other countries including Germany are targeted.

“No reason was given” for this extension

“In the case of the travel ban imposed by Belgium, the Commission considers that less restrictive measures would be available to the authorities to achieve the objective of protecting public health”, writes Salla Saastamoinen, Director General of the DG Justice, in a letter consulted by Belga.

It also notes that, when the announcement of the extension of the ban was made by the Belgian government, “no reason was given” for this extension. The latter was also made several weeks before the expiration of the initial ban, which expired on March 1.

Other member states concerned

The five other EU countries pointed out by the Commission for disproportionate travel bans in relation to respect for free movement are Germany, Denmark, Sweden, Finland and Hungary.

The European executive had already reminded all member states last week of the need to respect the recommendations on travel that they themselves had decided.

“We are asking to return to a more logical measure to advise against these trips but not to prohibit them”, explained Tuesday the European Commissioner for Justice, Didier Reynders, before a meeting of European Affairs ministers which will address this issue.

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