Denmark, the Baltic countries, and Norway have all put Luxembourg on their "blacklists" - and it seems that more countries are banning Luxembourg residents from entering.

Luxembourg's Minister of Foreign Affairs Jean Asselborn was a guest on RTL Radio on Friday evening to discuss the recent travel restrictions that several countries put into place.

He stressed that the government is fighting accusations from other countries because the numbers, if considered out of context, do not reflect the real situation. Asselborn explained that Luxembourg's recent infection numbers must be viewed in the context of the large-scale testing strategy. In other words, the more tests a country carries out, the more positive cases it will detect.

According to the minister, it is wrong to penalise the Grand-Duchy for testing, which is something every country should be doing. Luxembourg is currently carrying out 9,582 tests per 100,000 residents per week. Malta comes in second with 1,300 weekly tests per 100,000 residents while the Grand-Duchy's neighbouring countries only perform between 500 and 600 weekly tests per 100,000 residents. Asselborn stressed the danger of evaluating infection numbers without keeping this is mind as this approach could lead to considerable misconceptions about Luxembourg. The minister added that figures from the hospitals must also be taken into account. Asselborn stressed that the large-scale testing efforts of the government are the right approach to fighting the pandemic.

He stated that there are currently no signs that any of Luxembourg's neighbouring countries are planning to close their borders again. He dismissed rumours that Belgium is considering a second border closure as baseless. However, the minister also admitted that the situation could change if other countries continue to ignore the context of the Luxembourgish figures.

Another key point which Asselborn thinks Luxembourg's three neighbouring countries should take into account is that the Grand-Duchy is not only testing its residents but also cross-border workers. While they do not live in Luxembourg, they are still part of the total number of confirmed national cases.

The minister went on to say that there is currently no risk that Luxembourgers will not be able to reach the destination they wish to travel to. While the country has been put on a number of blacklists in certain countries, these decisions are only valid for 14 days. Asselborn expressed confidence that the restrictions would not apply beyond that date, if everybody acted responsibly.

The LSAP politician explained that the crisis unit responsible for bringing people who find themselves stranded abroad home is still in place and can be contacted if needed.

Asselborn concluded that Luxembourg's government has set out on the right path and must continue the large-scale testing in order to overcome the crisis.

Video (in Luxembourgish):


A growing number of countries have recently listed Luxembourg as an "at-risk country" and restricted access for Luxembourgish residents.

You can find the list here.