The Federal Public Service (FPS) Foreign Affairs has red-colored several regions in Switzerland (around Lake Geneva), Bulgaria, Romania, France and Spain on Saturday. This means that travel to these regions is currently not permitted. Returning compatriots must undergo quarantine and a corona test. The decision caused many frustrations.
“The procedure will be adjusted tomorrow,” confirms Vinciane Charlier, spokeswoman for the FPS Public Health. The evaluation cell Celeval will meet again tomorrow. Virologist Steven Van Gucht, who will chair Celeval for the next two weeks, is only willing to provide more information after that meeting. “To avoid misunderstandings,” says FPS Public Health.
Especially from Switzerland came a lot of criticism. For example, Intersoc, a non-profit organization that organizes holidays for the Christian Mutuality, suddenly had to cancel hundreds of holidays. Countrymen in the red or orange areas did not understand the decision either. “We went for a walk of fifteen kilometers yesterday and saw less than twenty people. In the past few months I have never felt as safe as here, ”said Annelies Vervoort (34), who is traveling in Switzerland.
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Swiss politics followed later in the day. “We do not know what criteria Belgium bases itself on,” said Rebecca Ruiz, health minister in Vaud. Switzerland knocked on the door of the European Union on Sunday to prevent other European countries from taking the same measure as Belgium.
Karl Lagatie, spokesman for Foreign Affairs, emphasizes that the FPS Foreign Affairs does not take any decisions itself. “We only convey the message. It is the evaluation cell that maps everything and cuts the knots. They not only follow statistical, but also sanitary developments, ”says Lagatie. “We call on the experts because we attach great importance to the epidemiological framework.”
Online it is very difficult to find out exactly which parameters are used to determine when a region in Europe is assigned code orange or red.
Code red now applies to parts of Bulgaria (the northeastern and southwestern regions), the Swiss region of Lake Geneva (Geneva, Lausanne and Montreux), Romania (center, south-east, South Muntenia and Sud-Vest Oltenia).
In France, the Mayenne department turns red. In Spain, in addition to the Lleida province in Catalonia and the Huesca province in Aragon, the regions of Navarra and Barcelona are colored red.
Code orange remains in force in the Spanish regions of Girona, Tarragona, Basque Country, La Rioja, Extremadura, Soria and Guadalajara. Castellón, Valencia, Murcia and Almeria turn orange. Furthermore, code orange is being extended to large parts of Croatia, parts of the Netherlands (South Holland, Zeeland and North Holland), Malta, parts of Poland and East Slovenia.
Verder worden ook Ile de France (behalve Seine-et-Marne, dat groen blijft), Pays de la Loire, Nord region (Nord-Pas de Calais), Haut-Rhin, Haute-Savoie) oranje.