NS advises travelers not to take the train to Belgium, unless really necessary. The trains are too full today, so according to the railway company, it is impossible to maintain a sufficient distance. The urgent call is valid until Sunday evening. Many Dutch people visit Belgium these days. They are going out for one day, which is not possible in their country due to the lockdown.
On Tuesday, NS deployed personnel to the platforms to manage passenger flows. Earlier that day, it happened “several times” that passengers had to stay behind because the train was so full.
According to NMBS spokesperson Dimitri Timmerman, the crowds are likely to continue in the coming days. Therefore NMBS recommends consulting the app before starting your trip. Meanwhile, the railway company also increased the capacity of various trains by deploying additional wagons. All dual capacity trains now run the connection between Puurs and Roosendaal.
Antwerp roads and parking lots are full
Even today the highways are very busy. For example, there are traffic jams on the E19 motorway from Breda to Antwerp – an extra half hour is added. They are also all on deck at exits, main access roads, and parking lots. “In the E19 and A12 from the Netherlands we see more Dutch cars than usual driving into Antwerp,” says Peter Bruyninckx of the Traffic Centre. This actually leads to accordion queues and half-hour waiting times. But the peak may not have been reached yet. ”
Moreover, according to the police, it seems that most Dutch visitors are again choosing to drive from Antwerp’s ring road to the city centre. “That’s not really the point, the city car parks are almost full and access roads like Plantin and Moretusley can’t handle the flow,” Bruyninckx says. “We urge you to choose one of the amusement parks and rides, especially those in Luchtbal that are interesting to the Dutch. We are already referring to this on our dynamic boards and have asked our Dutch colleagues to give me a similar message.”
The influx of Dutch people going shopping or dining in Belgium due to the lockdown has led to an alarming reaction. Antwerp Governor Kathy Birx described it on Dutch radio as “anti-social, not solidarity-based and unreasonable in times of pandemic”.
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