Saturday 13 August 2022

Antwerp’s governor urges Dutch visitors to stay away during lockdown

Christmas shoppers in Antwerp in 2019. Photo: Depositphotos

The governor of Antwerp has urged Dutch visitors not to go on day trips to the Belgian city to escape the lockdown in the Netherlands.

‘I’m asking Dutch people to grin and bear it,’ Cathy Berx told Belgian TV network VRT. ‘After this they will be very much welcome, but now is not the time to come here.’

Thousands of people from the Netherlands are thought to have travelled across the border on Sunday to go shopping or have a drink in a bar on the first day of a three-week lockdown in their own country.

Cinemas, theatres, museums and hairdressers are among the other venues and businesses that are closed in the Netherlands but still open in Belgium for anyone with a valid QR code.

German authorities have also called on Dutch visitors not to descend en masse on towns across the border. Wolfgang Gebing, mayor of Oberhausen in North Rhine-Westphalia, said the federal government could impose travel restrictions if necessary. ‘But for the moment Dutch people are warmly welcome in our city.’

A spokesman for Oberhausen’s tourist board said December was traditionally a busy month for visitors from the Netherlands. ‘We are seeing Dutch daytrippers now as well, but a lot fewer than before corona,’ he told NOS.


Thank you for donating to

The team would like to thank all the generous readers who have made a donation in recent weeks. Your financial support has helped us to expand our coverage of the coronavirus crisis into the evenings and weekends and make sure you are kept up to date with the latest developments. has been free for 14 years, but without the financial backing of our readers, we would not be able to provide you with fair and accurate news and features about all things Dutch. Your contributions make this possible.

If you have not yet made a donation, but would like to, you can do so via Ideal, credit card or Paypal.