Belgium has decided to tighten coronavirus travel restrictions to prevent another spike up in the number of COVID-19 cases and the spread of new virus strains in the country.

“In an attempt to stop the spread of new strains of coronavirus, the Consultative Committee has decided to temporarily impose a ban on non-essential foreign travel to and from Belgium,” the government notes in a press release.

The decision was made on January 22 by the Consultative Committee of the government and entities. It will become effective on January 27, Wednesday, until March 1, 2021. The ban covers all arrivals and travel by road, air, sea and rail.

“When people travel, the virus travels with them.” – said Prime Minister Alexander De Croo.

Only essential business, family, and humanitarian travel will be permitted to take place throughout this period.

At the same time, the government points out that all travellers will need to obtain a “sworn statement”. A form of which can be found on the website of the Ministry of the Interior. It must be linked to the Passenger Locator Form and supported by the necessary documents.

Visitors from the UK, South Africa and South America will be quarantined for ten days to make sure they did not bring dangerous variants back to Belgium. They also will have to get tested for COVID-19 in the first and seventh day of their arrival. If both tests result negative, quarantine can be shortened to seven days.