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Belgium bans travel from India, South Africa, Brazil

by editor

Belgium on Tuesday banned travel from India, South Africa and Brazil over concerns about coronavirus mutations.

The ban covers travel by plane, train, ship and bus, and includes transit traffic. There are exemptions for transport workers and diplomats if they can prove their trip is essential. Belgian residents are also allowed to return home.

There will be further talks at the EU level, “particularly with neighboring countries, to achieve a coordinated approach,” the government said.

Belgium is the latest country to ban travel from third countries that have seen a surge in coronavirus cases caused by new variants.

Germany halted travel from India starting Monday, a step Health Minister Jens Spahn said was necessary “not to endanger our vaccination campaign.”

The Dutch government also banned flights from India, South Africa and several countries in Central and South America from Monday, saying it wants to prevent the Netherlands from becoming Indian travelers’ “preferred option” for entering the EU.

France restricted travel from India, Brazil Chile, Argentina, South Africa and French Guiana; the U.K. also added India to its “red” travel list.

EU ministers discussed coordinated travel measures to mitigate the risk of new mutations at an informal meeting last week, with some calling for a common map of countries with “worrying” coronavirus variants.

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