Port of Antwerp will remain operational during this difficult period. Companies in the port will also remain operational with support from a special taskforce. The port assures continuity because it plays a crucial role in supplying Belgium and a large part of Europe.
Under the terms of the Ministerial Decree concerning measures to combat the spread of Coronavirus, the port is designated as "essential national infrastructure." A multidisciplinary, cross-border taskforce has been set up to ensure correct functioning of the port, and to assess whether additional measures are needed and keep all stakeholders in the port informed of these.
Port of Antwerp is an essential hub for keeping Belgium and a large part of Europe supplied. Essential goods such as foodstuffs, fuel and other supplies and raw materials that are necessary to keep crucial and less crucial industries operational will continue to be carried via our ports in the coming weeks and months. Port of Antwerp emphasises that with the help of its employees, the port community is doing everything necessary to maintain the supply chains and so to keep Belgium and the rest of Europe supplied.
In the meantime the Federal Government has decided that all employees must be encouraged to work from home wherever possible, to the extent that their job does not absolutely require them to be on the spot. We therefore ask all those employees concerned to comply with this measure and to work from home as much as they can.
And for those workers whose job does require them to be on the spot, additional measures are being taken to promote "social distancing." In particular we ask our employees to keep a minimum distance of 1.5 metres apart, as much as possible. In addition all employees have been given clear instructions to maintain good hand hygiene and to stay at home and consult a doctor at the least sign of illness.
Commercial premises and shops in the port area will remain closed until further notice, as in the rest of the country. Essential infrastructure such as filling stations will however remain open. Fuel suppliers will also continue to operate and will keep the filling stations supplied. In this way, the logistics chains for goods moving to and from the port will remain assured.