Brussels, Jan 23 : Belgium will start banning non-essential travel to and from the country starting from January 27, Prime Minister Alexander De Croo announced.
"As of January 27, recreational and tourist travel is prohibited. This applies to travel from or to our country," the Prime Minister said at a press conference on Friday.
The ban will be valid until March 1, reports Xinhua news agency.
"Foreign nationals entering our country for professional reasons will have to show a double test: a negative PCR test on departure and a negative PCR test on arrival," said De Croo.
"Non-medical contact professions can only reopen at the earliest from February 13, under the condition that the epidemiological situation improves compared to the current situation, and the evaluation will be made in the Consultation Committee on February 5," he said.
Essential travel, however, will be allowed. This is the case for family reasons such as co-parenting, medical treatment, and work-related travel.
The Prime Minister reiterated the importance of continuing to apply the traditional rules of distancing, wearing a mask, hydro-alcoholic hand hygiene and doing outdoor activities.
The epidemiological situation in Belgium remains fragile.
From January 12 to 18, there were 1,963 new infections on average per day, reported the public health institute Sciensano on Friday.
Hospitalizations are on the rise, with an average of 125.3 new admissions per day in the last week (January 15-21).
To date, Belgium has recorded a total of 686,827 Covid-19 cases and 20,620 deaths.