Airport closed, border security tightened following attack

22 Mar 16

BELGIUM

IMPACT – HIGH

What is the change? Authorities closed Brussels Airport Tuesday in the wake of attacks that left dozens dead. Border security was enhanced in Belgium and other European countries.

What does the change mean? The airport is expected to remain closed Wednesday. Those traveling to and out of Belgium should expect significant delays and increased security checks when the airport does reopen. Border crossings may be backed-up. Delays are possible at other European airports as well because a number of flights through Brussels have been rerouted.

  • Who is affected: Anyone planning travel to or out of Belgium.
  • Impact on processing times: Public buildings were closed Tuesday and applicants may need to reschedule appointments. There was no indication, however, that visa and permit processing would be dramatically delayed.
  • Business impact: Businesses may have to make adjustments to timelines due to delays associated with the attacks.
  • Next steps: Up-to-date information is available on the government’s Crisis Center website. U.S. citizens in Belgium may wish to visit the U.S. Embassy’s website for updated security-related information.

Background: Deadly attacks at Brussels Airport and the nearby Maelbeek metro station left the country on lockdown Tuesday, as authorities closed airports, train stations and public transportation systems. Buses and trains began running later in the day under increased security. Stations in Brussels were experiencing long wait times, prompting officials to advise postponing travel if possible. Border security was enhanced in Belgium and some other European countries, including Germany and France. Brussels Airport was expected to remain closed Wednesday and increased security and delays should be expected when the airport does reopen.

BAL Analysis: Those traveling to or out of Belgium in the near future should be prepared for increased security measures. The airport remains closed and security has been enhanced on Belgium’s borders. While public transportation reopened Tuesday, wait times were considerable.

This alert has been provided by the BAL Global Practice group. For additional information, please contact your BAL attorney.

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