Don’t cross the border unless you have to, Belgium and the Netherlands tell locals

The Dutch Belgian border in Zeeland. Photo: Odi Busman
The Dutch Belgian border in Zeeland. Photo: Odi Busman

The Netherlands and Belgium have called on residents to stop crossing the border between the two countries unless the move is unavoidable.

The number of coronavirus infections is soaring in both countries and this means pleasure trips should be halted, the joint statement by the two countries said.

During the first coronavirus wave the border between the Netherlands and Belgium was closed, and people could only cross if they had a special permit. In some cases, officials closed off roads to stop people sneaking into the other country.

‘The virus does not stop at the border, so this is something we have to do,’ Dutch justice minister Ferd Grapperhaus and Belgium’s home affairs minister Annelies Verlinden said.

‘Crossing the border to visit a cafe or restaurant, or to go shopping for the day, will only strengthen the spread of the virus on both sides of the border.’

Cafes and restaurants in the Netherlands are closed for at least the next four weeks.

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