Busy roads and extra trains as Dutch day trippers flock to Belgium

Crowds at Antwerp railway station. Photo: Jonas Roosens ANP
Crowds at Antwerp railway station. Photo: Jonas Roosens ANP

Belgian railway company NMBS doubled capacity on some trains between the Netherlands and Belgium to cope with the crowds on Wednesday, Flemish broadcaster VRT said on Wednesday.

‘We have to think of the safety of all train passengers,’ a spokesman said. The roads are also busy between the two countries, according to motoring organisation ANWB.

Dutch railway company NS and health minister Hugo de Jonge have again urged people not to visit Antwerp, where cafes and shops are open as normal. The Netherlands is in lockdown, with non essential shops, cafes, restaurants and museums all closed.

Dutch tourists have also been flocking to Aachen and Cologne in Germany to take advantage of the difference in coronavirus measures.

‘It should not be that difficult to realise that if it is not sensible to go to a busy shopping street here, it is not sensible to do it there,’ De Jonge said. ‘I would urge people to stay home.’

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