Even though the Netherlands’ government previously entered a strict lockdown in order to deal with the COVID-19’s Omicron variant, a large number of Dutch citizens are travelling to Belgium to escape the lockdown.
Citizens of the Netherlands are choosing Belgium after the latter keeps the shops and coffee doors open, but such an influx of travellers is causing frustration among Belgians, SchengenVisaInfo.com reports.
According to Antwerp governor Cathy Berx, the tourists were not showing much solidarity, as reported by NL Times.
Brex has stressed that no legal measures can be imposed in order to limit the number of Dutch day-trippers.
Recently the Netherlands Prime Minister Mark Rutte urged its citizens not to travel to their southern neighbor or Germany unless for essential reasons.
“I would think that would have a lot more impact than the governor of Antwerp making such an appeal,” Berx pointed out in this regard.
In this regard, a spokesperson from ANWB said that “It was remarkably busy this morning (Monday), especially on the roads to Antwerp.”
Based on the figures of the World Health Organization, authorities in Belgium have reported over 2,052,800 cases of COVID-19 infection and 28,218 deaths since the start of the pandemic.
WHO figures show that Belgium authorities have registered 33,625 infection cases and 182 deaths.
Previously, authorities in Belgium have announced that since Christmas, all persons arriving in the Western European country would be required to present a negative result of the COVID-19 test in order to be permitted to enter Belgium. Such a decision was confirmed by Health Minister Frank Vandenbroucke.
The Minister stressed that non-residents wishing to enter Belgium after Christmas would have to show a negative result; otherwise, they “won’t get in,” while adding that the country’s authorities would ask transport companies to ban the entry for persons who do not present a negative result of the COVID-19 test upon their arrivals.
Prime Minister of Belgium Alexander De Croo stressed that the increased number of infections “could be the start of a third wave, but we can prevent that from happening,”
Besides the Netherlands, authorities in Belgium also imposed stricter measures to halt the further spread of the virus amid fears of the Omicron variant that has affected many countries as yet.
Preventive measures introduced by Belgium’s government to halt the spread of the virus include compulsory mask requirement, while theaters, cinemas, and concert halls remain closed.