Why and how the Belgian authorities have decided to ban travel to several Swiss cantons : Vaud, Valais and Geneva? These three areas located around Lake Geneva have been placed in red by Celeval (Evaluation Unit), this group of experts which, based on figures provided by European countries, will consider that a country is green, orange or red.
These are not the only areas concerned in Europe. There are also, among others, Barcelona, Lithuania, Mayenne in France, Leicester in Great Britain. Since then, cancellations by Belgian holidaymakers have been linked. Philippe Goffin (MR), Minister of Foreign Affairs, guest of Matin Première reacts: “I understand the discomfort“Belgian holidaymakers who have booked their holidays sometimes since”last fall“.
It was one of the known risks
More “we (the Belgian authorities) said ” during the deconfinement phases that “the summer period would be an uncertain period and that unfortunately the situations could evolve either for good or for bad“. The minister says he understands vacationers”in their car“, who at the last moment have to turn around after hearing on the radio that their vacation spot is highlighted in red.”Cit was one of the known risks“, insists the minister.
And for the month of August, “it is exactly the same. There are areas that will turn red, others not“For the minister, it is necessary” to protect the population from the return of the virus “. He admits a” certain severity “and that this can” in certain cases cause frustration “.
Le Celeval is an independent organization
He recalls, however, that Celeval is “an independent body“composed of Sciensano, scientists, virologists who meet”regularly to analyze the country situation“or regions and issue color codes that the political authorities pass on.”JI do not have the competence, I am a lawyer, I am not a scientist, not a virologist.”
These codes are allocated on the basis of several criteria. “The tto contamination over the last 15 days“, the testing capacities in the country concerned and”the third element that Celeval incorporates into its thinking“, Those are the “health measures in the countries concerned“. Example in Switzerland:”Some were surprised by the extension to Valais and Vaud of the situation in Geneva.“Reason, explains Philippe Goffin:”Night clubs remain open.“
“It is not our responsibility here to make a value judgment on the criteria used by a particular country.“, insists the minister.”But in light of what we are doing here, it is normal that we also integrate health measures in the countries that are visited.“
European harmonization: the minister is for
Minister Goffin had contact with his Swiss counterpart on Monday. “It was agreed that the cantons could send additional pieces of information“which Belgium then transmit to Celeval.”And afterwards, it’s Celeval who make their decision. Celeval will do what he wants with it.“
But what about a European harmonization of the criteria for awarding color codes? “I completely agree“. More, “it’s difficult to harmonize“because health policies are”national policies“. “There are of course European contacts to make it more harmonious“Says the minister. He recalls the joint decision to open the borders in the European Union on June 15.”The coordination worked.“
For the reopening of borders outside Europe, there, the faculty was left to the countries of the Union compared to the fifteen countries concerned by this reopening. “It is up to each state to see if this opening will be made possible.“.
Georges-Louis Bouchez has always been very constructive, available
Concerning the Belgian political situation and the decision both preformers Paul Magnette (PS) and Bart De Wever (N-VA) to meet the representatives of Ecolo / Groen, Philippe Goffin declares that “the MR is available. Georges-Louis Bouchez has always been very constructive, available…“The MR has put two clear exclusives, recalls Philippe Goffin:”far left and far right“. “But beyond that, we showed ourselves available with the persuasive force of Georges-Louis Bouchez, his enthusiasm, his youth.“
“Don’t count on me for a negative feedback“, on the subject of the meeting of the preformers with the Greens. Philippe Goffin nonetheless recalls the European framework in which Belgium must place itself.”Lother European countries will not wait for us“As for the establishment of an economic recovery plan. It is therefore necessary”quickly“a federal government.
Philippe Goffin does not want the Liberal family, MR and Open Vld be excluded from the game. Recently the president of the Flemish nationalists, Bart De Wever, told the Flemish channel VTM that “no one is a supporter of the MR in government yet“. Philippe Goffin however finds it normal that “lare two parties that are first in their region […] can meet around the same table. We will need this strong majority given the challenges that lie ahead and they will be significant.“