Belgian residents could be given the green-light for travel inside Europe from mid-June, Foreign Affairs Minister Philippe Goffin said on Thursday.
In an interview with RTBF, Goffin said that while it was still a bit early to say, Belgian and other European authorities were aiming to relaunch European travel in a concerted manner.
“Towards mid-June, I think we will be able to have a clearer perspective on the possibilities for travel,” Goffin said, adding: “We can speak of a sort of conditional hope.”
“The decision lies with the National Security Council (NSC), but it’s true that we are in a phase of preparation, of talks to make sure that when the ‘go’ is given —and I hope we will be able to give it— we work in a coordinated matter with our European neighbours.”
Pressed for a timeline, Goffin said that Belgian residents were advised to hold off on definitive bookings for at least two weeks, but said that the perspective for travelling outside of Belgium appeared to be “positive.”
Goffin said that he believed the period between 8 and 15 June was “realistic” for Belgian residents to expect news or changes in international travel rules, according to the outlet.
The minister nevertheless said that the evolution of the pandemic remained a key element guiding officials’ decisions to reopen to tourism.
“To ensure that we do not lose the fruit of all the efforts that we have done these past months,” the decision to give the green-light to tourism will depend on how the pandemic evolves in Belgium and in other European countries.
Currently, Belgium advises against all non-essential air travel abroad and its land borders are closed.
This week, Greece said that hotels would be allowed to reopen from 15 June as the country launches a program to restart one of the main drivers of its economy.
On Thursday, Serbia became the latest country to reopen its borders, after Iceland, Austria and Germany had all previously announced they would be easing border restrictions.
The Brussels Times