U.S. military officials would not say Monday if they plan to lift or extend the 72-hour travel restriction to Brussels, Belgium, that was put in place over the weekend.
U.S. European Command issued the three-day travel restriction Saturday, which prohibits U.S. military personnel, DOD civilian employees, contractors and command-sponsored family members from traveling to Brussels. Those already in Brussels have been instructed to remain at home or “shelter in place.”
“We are not going to discuss specific time frames relating to force-protection measures, enhancements, or threats,” Lt. Col. David Westover, EUCOM spokesman, said in an email late Monday afternoon. “This is a precautionary measure to keep our personnel and families safe in light of the recent attacks, and the potential of future attacks.”
The restriction was issued after Belgium raised its country’s threat level to 4, the highest possible, warning of a “serious and imminent” threat of a Paris-style terrorist attack. Authorities in Belgium said that schools and subways in Brussels would remain closed Monday.
A post on the U.S. Embassy website from Brussels said that the embassy’s consular section would be closed Tuesday, due to the high threat level in Brussels. Only American citizens with emergencies would be seen, the embassy said.
The travel restriction for DOD personnel to Brussels comes just over a week after Islamic State terrorists killed 130 people and wounded hundreds more in a series of coordinated attacks in Paris.
A similar travel restriction for all DOD personnel is also in effect for France. Currently, unofficial travel to France is off-limits. Requests for official travel or emergency leave to the country must be approved by a general officer within one’s chain of command, according to EUCOM.
Citing security precautions, EUCOM has not given an end date for the France travel restrictions.