Belgium introduces entry ban for southern Africa due to new virus variant

Belgium is introducing an entry ban for travellers from several countries in the south of Africa following concerns about a new variant (B.1.1.529) discovered in South Africa, announced Prime Minister Alexander De Croo.

“Belgium is imposing an entry ban for travellers coming from several countries in the southern region of Africa,” De Croo said during a press conference following the Consultative Committee meeting. “Additionally, returning travellers are required to spend ten days in quarantine upon entering Belgium.”

The rules will certainly apply to South Africa, and presumably also its neighbouring countries of Botswana, Namibia, Zimbabwe, Mozambique and the small states of Lesotho and Swaziland.

The EU already has an entry ban on South Africa, which is considered “a high-risk country” due to previous specific variants, but a number of exceptions were in force. This new ban would also apply to neighbouring countries.