Belgium to tighten COVID-19 rules for travellers arriving by train, bus

BRUSSELS, Jan. 15 (Xinhua) -- Belgium will tighten its COVID-19 rules for travellers arriving by train or bus, said Antoine Iseux, an inter-federal spokesman of the National Crisis Center, on Friday.

The testing and quarantine measures required from people arriving in Belgium by plane or boat for a stay of less than 48 hours will apply to train or bus travellers from non-EU countries and non-Schengen countries, said Iseux.

"For travelers not having a residence in Belgium, they should take a preliminary test before their arrival on Belgian territory," said Iseux.

In addition, "all travelers, including Belgians who have been abroad, will have to follow the quarantine rules that are included on the PLF (Passenger Location Form)," added Iseux.

The vaccination campaign that began in December 2020 is continuing in Belgium. "Until Jan. 13, about 50,000 people have already been vaccinated," said Yves Van Laethem, an inter-federal spokesman for the fight against COVID-19, on Friday.

Laethem reassured that the vaccine is effective against a number of variants circulating in the country.

"An 82-year-old died five days after vaccination. Examinations are under way to get full information about this death," he said.

The total number of coronavirus cases in Belgium has so far risen to 672,886 and the deaths toll stood at 20,294.

As the world is struggling to contain the pandemic, vaccination is underway in some countries, including Belgium, with the already-authorized coronavirus vaccines.

Meanwhile, 236 candidate vaccines are still being developed worldwide -- 63 of them in clinical trials -- in countries including Germany, China, Russia, Britain and the United States, according to information released by the World Health Organization on Tuesday.

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