Travel in the North of France is no longer authorized, even if many exemptions are made for cross-border workers, or for local purchases.
Worried about the prospect of a second wave of contamination in their country, the Belgian authorities have decided in particular, Wednesday 16 September, to classify new French departments as "red zones", including the North and Pas-de-Calais. These measures will come into force on Friday 18 September, at 16 hours.
In addition to the two departments in question, around fifteen others will now be banned for Belgian travelers : the Aveyron, the Gers, the Pyrénées-Atlantiques, the Pyrénées-Orientales, the Ille-et-Vilaine, the Indre-et-Loire, Isere, the Loire, Maine-et-Loire, the Puy-de-Dome, the Sarthe, Seine-Maritime, the Tarn-et-Garonne and the Vienne. Paris, Bouches-du-Rhône and Gironde had already been placed in "red zones" since the end of August.
The decision concerning the North and the Pas-de-Calais will undoubtedly be very difficult to enforce given the very many cross-border crossing points between these departments and the regions of Wallonia and Flanders..
"Local purchases" will also remain authorized, indicates the Belgian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, as well as travel deemed essential. And there will be no problems for the workers, students or people needing to see a doctor, said the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Philippe Goffin. On the other hand, he said, tourist travel is prohibited. Belgians who would still go to a French red zone should be tested and quarantined.
Very rare police checks
Denying the idea of a border closure, the authorities speak rather of a necessary " The respect of the rules ". Police checks seem very rare. This is, Apparently, under the pressure of mayors (mayors) of border municipalities that these new measures have been adopted. Many complain about the behavior of French visitors who do not respect barrier gestures.
The spread of the virus in the Hauts de France, and in Lille in particular, since the beginning of the month seems, in any case, deeply concern Belgian officials. M. Goffin therefore mentions measures "Difficult to take", More " required " To stem the spread of the virus.
Belgium has decided to classify regions of other countries as "red zones", Wednesday : those of Amsterdam and The Hague in the Netherlands, from Vienna to Austria, as well as the canton of Vaud, In Swiss.
SOURCE: The world