Koenders urges Dutch public not to travel to Brussels

Following the attacks in Belgium, foreign minister Bert Koenders has updated the travel advice for Belgium. He is urging the public to refrain from travelling to Brussels until more is known about the situation. Those who are in Brussels already are advised to stay indoors wherever possible. The city’s metro stations and airport should also be avoided. It is important that the public follow the instructions given by the authorities.

Immediately after the attacks the Dutch embassy in Brussels warned Dutch nationals in the area to remain indoors. Dutch nationals have been informed by text message to follow the instructions of the local authorities and to remain in contact with the embassy. The embassy will keep them informed as the situation develops. Anyone with questions can contact the 24/7 Contact Centre on +31 (0) 247 247 247. There is also a Belgian crisis telephone number: +32 (0) 275 373 00.

‘Right now, we don’t yet know if there are Dutch nationals among the victims,’ said Mr Koenders, speaking from Indonesia on Tuesday. ‘The embassy is working with the local authorities to determine whether this is the case.’ The foreign ministry has sent additional staff to the embassy.

‘These are very serious terrorist attacks, which have hit closer to home than ever before,’ continued the minister. ‘I can imagine how shocked people are by these heinous acts. The violent and random nature of terrorism means that one never gets accustomed to it.  My thoughts and sympathy are with the victims and their families. I have passed on my condolences to Didier Reynders, the Belgian Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign and European Affairs.’