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What are the current measures?

Current measures

The government has set rules to stop the spread of coronavirus. Follow these rules. This way, you will avoid becoming ill or making others ill. Thank you for following them. Together we’ll stop the coronavirus.

Please note: Some cities and towns have stricter rules. Check the website of the city or town.

Measures per region

Journeys

In Belgium

  • You are allowed to move around freely.
  • If you are using public transport (bus, tram or train) and over 10 years old, wear a face mask covering your mouth and nose.

Travelling abroad

Do you have a question about journeys ?

Work

  • Work from home. This is mandatory.
    • You may work 1 day per week at your workplace. Make agreements with your colleagues.
  • If you cannot work from home you will receive a certificate from your boss. Follow the rules of your workplace.
  • Consult the guide of the FPS Employment, Labour and Social Dialogue.

Do you have a question about employment?

Shops and catering industry

  • All shops are open.
    • When you enter the store disinfect your hands first. Wear a face mask.
    • Do you own a shop? Read the guide by the FPS Economy.
  • Markets are being organized.
  • Night shops are open until 23h.
  • Hairdressers and other non-medical contact professions, such as pedicure and beauty salons, are open.
  • Wear a face mask.

Bars and restaurants

  • Bars and restaurants are open until 23h..
    • You need to have a Covid Safe Ticket. You can find your Covid Safe Ticket at www.covidsafe.be or via the CovidSafeBE app.
    • Wear a face mask. When you are seated at the table you may take your face mask off.
    • You may sit at the table in groups of maximum 6 people.
  • Do you own a bar or restaurant? Read the guide by the FPS Economy.

Do you have a question about shops or the catering industry?

Social contact

  • You can have people over at home.

    • Do this preferably outdoors.
    • Take a self-test before inviting people over. You can buy a self-test in the pharmacy.
    • Preferably do not invite too many people.
  • Are you organizing a private party? This is only possible at home and not on location, for example a festivity hall.

  • Weddings or funerals are allowed on location. Follow these rules:

    • You may sit at the table in groups of maximum 6 people.
    • Are there more than 50 people indoors or 100 people outdoors?
      • Wear a face mask.
      • You must have a Covid Safe Ticket. You can find your Covid Safe Ticket at www.covidsafe.be or via the CovidSafeBE app.

Do you have a question about social contact ?

Sports and leisure

  • Events or shows can be organized, for example theatre, professional sports competitions or concerts.
  • Religious services are allowed.
  • You can practice sports anywhere.

What is not allowed?

  • Dance clubs and night bars are closed.

Caution:

  • Are you going to a public event or activity, such as a sports competition or concert?
    • You must wear a face mask.
    • Keep a 1.5 meter distance from others.
    • This is allowed for maximum 50 people indoors or 100 people outdoors. Children need to be taken into account. Are there more people present? You must have a Covid Safe Ticket. You can find your Covid Safe Ticket at www.covidsafe.be or via the CovidSafeBE app.
    • Is the event indoors?
      • You must be seated.
      • There is no audience allowed in sports competitions. Only parents are allowed to attend if their children are competing.

Do you have a question about sports or culture?

Nurseries and schools

  • Day-care is open.
  • Children can go to school. Your school will give you more information.

Do you have a question about nurseries or schools?

Frequently asked questions

Go to results Examples: masks school fever train airport

Results

General measures

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  • What can I do myself?

    The Consultative Committee of 17 November has decided on a number of new protective measures. The number of infections, hospital admissions and the number of patients in intensive care has almost doubled in the past two weeks. In order to avoid overloading the healthcare system and to allow education and our economy to continue functioning as normally as possible, the extended use of face masks and mandatory teleworking has been imposed. Strict compliance with all measures is necessary if we want to avoid another lockdown.

    The recent risk assessments by the relevant advisory bodies and the Minister of Health have shown that the cumulative criteria provided for in the Pandemic Law to qualify as an “epidemic emergency” have been met. On 29 October 2021, the epidemic emergency was declared by Royal Decree, and the measures were also included in a Royal Decree implementing the Pandemic Law.

    Respecting the basic principles remains central.

    1. the hygiene measures (e.g. washing hands, coughing and sneezing hygiene) remain essential;
    2. outdoor activities should be prioritised wherever possible. Where necessary, indoor areas must be adequately ventilated;
    3. additional precautions must be taken for people belonging to a high-risk group.
    4. the safety distance of 1.5 m is the norm, except for the exceptions expressly provided for in the Royal Decree. People who are unable to respect social distancing are strongly advised to wear a face mask.
    5. it is strongly recommended to limit social contacts.

    It is also advisable to remain cautious in terms of social contacts by applying the ‘ten tips’ as much as possible:

    • Get vaccinated
    • Wear a face mask
    • Wash your hands regularly
    • Do you feel ill or do you have symptoms? Stay home and contact your GP
    • Test yourself
    • Go outside
    • Limit social contacts: a group of five is safer than a group of fifty
    • Ventilate indoor areas
    • Maintain a safe distance
    • Keep it safe while travelling, too
  • 1. What does the declaration of the epidemic emergency mean for local authorities?
    By means of a ministerial circular, it is explained how stricter measures can be taken at local level in the context of the Pandemic Law. The Mayor is responsible for verbal and visual communication of the specific measures taken on the territory of his/her municipality. The local government shall ensure correct communication for both residents and visitors. It is therefore recommended that citizens consult the communication channels of the municipality in which they live (or intend to visit) in order to find out about any specific measures that may apply.
  • What are the consequences of non-compliance with the measures decided at the federal level?

    Compliance with the announced measures is essential in order to avoid the further spread of the pandemic and additional reinforcement of the measures. We are counting on everyone’s sense of civic duty and responsibility.

    In the event of non-compliance with the measures (provided for by the Royal Decree), sanctions are possible on the basis of Article 6 of the Law of 14 August 2021 on administrative police measures during an epidemic emergency.

    The police forces will carry out permanent checks to ensure strict compliance with the measures.

  • Can protocols or guides deviate from the maximum number of persons admitted for an activity?

    No, provisions of a protocol or guide which are less strict than the rules laid down in the Royal Decree are not applicable.

    Nevertheless, the Minister of the Interior can, after reasoned advice from the competent ministers, the local authorities concerned and the Federal Minister of Health, grant permission to deviate from the rules of the Royal Decree during pilot projects.

    The pilot projects are organised in accordance with the protocol defined by the competent ministers and the Federal Minister of Public Health. The protocol contains a framework, timeline and roadmap for the organisation of these pilot projects, both indoors and outdoors, in accordance with the agreements made during the Consultative Committee on the subject.

Work & economy

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  • Economy
    In order to minimise the number of infections at work and reduce the number of people on public transport during rush hour, teleworking will once again become compulsory. However, in order to enable employees to maintain a connection with their working environment and to safeguard, as far as possible, business continuity and competitiveness, employers may schedule a limited number of return visits to the office.
  • What are the general principles for the economy?
    • Teleworking is mandatory in all companies, associations and services for all staff, regardless of the nature of their employment relationship, unless this is not possible due to the nature of their role or because it would disrupt the continuity of business operations, activities and services. Teleworking is performed in accordance with the existing collective labour agreements.

    • Employers must provide staff members who are unable to work from home, regardless of the nature of their employment relationship, with a certificate or any other evidence confirming the need for their presence at the workplace.

    • Each month, employers must register the total number of employees in the company per business unit as well as the number of employees who are unable to telework due to their role. They must do this via the electronic registration system made available by the National Social Security Office on the social security portal.

    • The declaration for the period from 22 November 2021 to 31 December 2021 relates to the situation on the third working day following the entry into force of the Royal Decree of 19 November 2021 and must be submitted by 30 November 2021 at the latest. The following declarations relate to the situation on the first working day of the month and must be submitted by the sixth calendar day of the month at the latest. If the total number of people employed in the business unit and the number of people performing a function which cannot be performed remotely has not changed since the last valid declaration, the employer is not required to make a new declaration. The obligation to register does not apply to:

    • SMEs employing less than five people, regardless of the nature of their employment relationship;

    • establishments referred to in Article 2, 1° of the Cooperation Agreement of 16 February 2016 between the Federal Government, the Flemish Region, the Walloon Region and the Brussels-Capital Region concerning the control of major accident hazards involving dangerous substances, approved by the Law of 1 April 2016;

    • health care employers as referred to in Article 40 of the Law of 20 December 2020 on temporary support measures due to the COVID-19 pandemic;

    • all educational institutions for both the staff paid by the organising authorities themselves and declared to the NSSO and the staff paid via a Community Ministry and declared to the NSSO. This exception does not apply to universities, private schools and other training institutions which pay the salaries of all staff themselves;

    • The police services as referred to in Article 2, 2° of the Act of 7 December 1998 organising integrated police services as a two-level structure.

    • Companies, associations and services may organise voluntary return days for their staff who are obliged to telework, regardless of the nature of their employment relationship, subject to compliance with the preventative measures (see below) and the following conditions:

    • a mutual agreement between these companies, associations and services and their employees ensuring that they cannot be obliged to participate in the return days;

    • the aim must be to promote the psychosocial well-being and team spirit of the employees;

    • the employees must receive prior instructions on all measures required to ensure a safe return;

    • the employees must be informed that under no circumstances should they return to work if they feel ill or show symptoms of disease or are quarantining;

    • employers may not attach any consequence to this for their employees;

    • travelling to and from work during peak hours by public transport or carpooling should be avoided as much as possible;

    • the decision to organise return days must be made in accordance with the rules of the social dialogue in the company, whereby all conditions must be verified.

    • The following must be taken into consideration when organising return days to the office:

    • they may not exceed one working day per week per person until 12 December 2021, and two working days per week per person as from 13 December 2021;

    • until 12 December, a maximum of 20% of employees for whom teleworking is mandatory can be present in the business unit at any one time, and a maximum of 40% from 13 December onwards;

    • for SMEs with less than ten employees, no more than five employees who are obliged to telework may be present in the business unit at the same time.

    • Companies, associations and services shall take appropriate and timely preventive measures in order to guarantee the rules of social distancing as much as possible and to provide a maximum level of protection. If social distancing at work is not possible, it is strongly recommended to wear a face mask.

    • These appropriate preventive measures are health and safety regulations of a material, technical and/or organisational nature, as provided for in the “Generic guide to counter the spread of COVID-19 at work”, which is available on the website of the Federal Public Service Employment, Labour and Social Dialogue (https://werk.belgie.be/sites/default/files/content/news/Generiekegids_light.pdf), supplemented by guidelines at sectoral and/or company level, and/or other appropriate measures providing at least an equivalent level of protection. Collective measures always take precedence over individual measures.

    • These appropriate preventive measures are drawn up at the level of the company, association or service as referred to in the first paragraph, in compliance with the applicable rules of Social Dialogue and in consultation with the department for prevention and protection at work.

    • The company, association or service must inform its employees in good time regarding the preventive measures in force and provide them with appropriate training. They must also inform third parties in good time of the preventive measures in place.

    • Employers, employees and third parties are obliged to adhere to the preventive measures in force in the company, association or service.

    • Wearing a face mask is mandatory in the publicly accessible areas of companies, associations, services and government buildings.

    In-person team-building activities and company parties are allowed. They must respect the measures applicable to the activity sectors in question (e.g. catering), as well as the rules applicable to private gatherings.

  • What are the obligations with regards to temporary working of employees and self-employed people not residing in Belgium ?

    Everyone in the workplace shall comply with obligations to limit the spread of COVID-19 as established by the competent authorities.

    In the workplace, the prevention advisers/occupational physicians as well as all services and institutions in charge of monitoring compliance with the obligations imposed as part of the urgent measures to limit the spread of COVID-19 may ask anyone concerned to prove that they comply with the obligations established by the competent authorities.

    Any obligations with regards to temporary work of employees and self-employed people not residing in Belgium are governed by the Cooperation Agreement of 14 July 2021 concerning the processing of data relating to the EU-COVID digital certificate, the COVID Safe Ticket, the PLF and the processing of personal data of employees and self-employed people residing or staying abroad and performing activities in Belgium (Title IX, Art. 28 - 30).

  • What are the rules for businesses and associations offering goods or services to consumers (B2C) ?

    Companies and associations offering goods or services to customers shall carry out their activities in accordance with the applicable sectoral protocol.

    A guide for the reopening of businesses applies to all businesses under this chapter and is published on the website of the Federal Public Service Economy (https://economie.fgov.be/nl/themas/ondernemingen/coronavirus/toegelaten-economische/coronavirus-tips-voor-winkels). To the extent possible, links to the available sectoral protocols will be published on the website https://www.info-coronavirus.be/nl/protocollen/.

    In any event, companies and associations offering goods or services to customers must comply with the general minimum rules set out in the Royal Decree:

    1. The company or association must visibly inform its customers, employees and third parties in good time regarding the preventive measures in force;
    2. The company or association must provide staff and customers with the means to ensure the necessary hand hygiene;
    3. The company or association must take the appropriate hygiene measures to regularly disinfect the establishment and the material used;
    4. The company or association must ensure good ventilation;
    5. Public areas, including terraces in public areas, are organised in accordance with the regulations laid down by the local authorities

    Companies must follow the instructions set out in the ‘Generic guide for combatting the spread of COVID-19 at work’. Employers must inform workers in good time regarding the prevention measures in force and provide appropriate training.

  • Shops and shopping centres

    Wearing a face mask is mandatory in shops and shopping centres from the age of 10.

    The following conditions apply to receiving visitors in shopping centres:

    • the minimum rules described above;
    • shopping centres must provide staff and customers with the means to ensure the necessary hand-hygiene facilities at entrances and exits;
    • shopping centres must use signs and floor markings to help shoppers maintain 1.5 metres physical distance.
  • Close-contact professions
    Wearing a face mask remains mandatory for both service providers and customers in establishments and places where close-contact professions are carried out, i.e. where there is direct physical contact between the service provider and the customer or where the distance of 1.5 metres cannot be guaranteed between the service provider and the customer for a duration of at least 15 minutes. This includes both medical and non-medical close-contact professions, for example, hairdressers, barbers, beauticians, tattooists and sex workers.
  • What is the responsibility of local authorities?
    Local authorities will organise access to shopping centres, shopping streets and car parks in accordance with the ministerial letter of the Minister for Home Affairs of 29 November 2020 on the management of public space when reopening shops and shopping centres, so that social distancing measures can be respected.
  • Are there any specific restrictions on the sale of alcoholic beverages?
    There are no longer restrictions on the sale of alcoholic beverages.
  • Are there any specific restrictions for night shops?
    No, night shops may reopen and close at their usual hours.
  • Are trade fairs and exhibitions being organised?
    Trade fairs and exhibitions are allowed. They must apply the minimum rules as described above and must respect the applicable protocol, unless access is organised by means of the Covid Safe Ticket (CST), in accordance with the Cooperation Agreement of 14 July 2021.
  • What are the rules for businesses and associations offering goods or services to professionals (b2b) ?
    The provision of services between professionals remains possible, provided that the social distancing rules are respected and according to the preventative measures adopted by the company.
  • What are the rules for itinerant activities?

    Markets, including year markets, bric-a-brac and flea markets and funfairs, whether they are organised by professionals or not, can only take place with prior permission from the competent municipal authority.

    The necessary measures must be taken at all markets and fairs permitted by the local authorities to protect everyone from the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19), including the application of the social distancing rules, in particular maintaining a distance of 1.5 metres between each group of visitors. Where the local authorities do permit a market, they will establish the conditions for this. Appropriate and timely preventative measures will be taken, as recommended in the “General guide for re-opening shops to combat the spread of COVID-19”, which is available on the FPS Economy’s website.

    Each market and fair must comply with the following conditions:

    1. market and fairground vendors must provide staff and customers with the means to ensure the necessary hand hygiene;
    2. market and fairground vendors may only offer food or drinks in compliance with the catering regulations ;
    3. when the number of visitors at markets, year markets, bric-a-brac and flea markets and funfairs exceeds 5,000 people at any one time, a one-way traffic system must be put in place with separate entrances and exits;
    4. operators must ensure that all individuals respect the applicable social distancing measures in the attraction;
    5. the applicable rules regarding sanitary measures, such as disinfecting hands before entering the attraction and social distancing must be clearly signposted at the stand or attraction.

    Markets or fairs can also be organised as mass events by means of the Covid Safe Ticket (CST). In this case, the conditions applicable to mass events apply, and not the above-mentioned specific rules regarding markets and fairs.

    These rules do not apply to Christmas markets and winter villages which are considered to be events and must respect the rules applicable to events.

  • What are the rules for the hotel, restaurant, and catering (horeca) sector ?

    There are no longer any restrictions on opening and closing hours for professional catering activities.

    Professional caterers must comply with the following minimum rules, without prejudice to the applicable protocols:

    • operators must visibly inform their customers, employees and third parties in good time regarding the preventive measures in force;
    • operators must provide staff and customers with the means to ensure the necessary hand hygiene;
    • operators must take the appropriate hygiene measures to regularly disinfect the establishment and the material used;
    • the operator must ensure good ventilation;
    • Public areas, including terraces in public areas, are organised in accordance with the regulations laid down by the local authorities;
    • wearing a face mask is mandatory for both staff and customers who are not seated at a table or at the bar.

    The above rules also apply to catering services at home and during private gatherings.

    The above rules do not apply to home catering services and private gatherings.

    The use of an air quality meter (CO2) is mandatory in indoor areas of food and drinking establishments belonging to the hospitality sector, including in dance pubs. This meter must be installed in a place clearly visible to visitors, unless a publicly accessible alternative display system is provided in real time. At least one air quality meter must be present in every single room where food and drinks are prepared and served, as well as in smoking rooms. The indoor air quality guideline is 900 ppm CO2. If the value of 900 ppm is exceeded, the operator must have an action plan, based on a risk analysis, to ensure compensatory measures for ventilation and/or air disinfection and/or air filtration, which guarantee adequate air quality equivalent to the air quality standard of 900 ppm. If the value of 1200 ppm is exceeded, the operator is advised to also provide an approved air disinfection and/or air filtration system that ensures adequate air quality equivalent to the air quality standard of 900 ppm.

    Access to catering establishments must be organised in accordance with the Cooperation Agreement of 14 July 2021 concerning the Covid Safe Ticket on the basis of the Decree or Ordinance that has been adopted in this respect.

    For more details, the hospitality protocols are available at info-coronavirus.be :

    In addition, the collective use of hookahs remains prohibited in places accessible to the public. Individual use with an individual mouth piece is permitted.

  • Are buffets allowed?
    Yes, buffets are allowed. Customers must wear a face mask when they are not seated at a table or at the bar. In the case of a self-service buffet, particular attention must be paid to hand hygiene (customers must disinfect their hands before serving themselves). Customers should keep their distance when queuing at the buffet. The same logic applies when customers go to (beverage) vending machines, refrigerators, etc.
  • Are pop-up terraces and summer bars allowed?
    Provided that they have permission from the municipality and are in compliance with the catering measures, they may be organised in public spaces.
  • Are sports (billiards, darts, etc.) allowed in a catering establishment?
    Pub games and gambling are allowed. Customers must wear a face mask when they are not seated at a table or at the bar.
  • What rules apply to company restaurants?
    The above-mentioned minimum hospitality rules also apply to company restaurants. Food and lunch breaks in companies are explicitly addressed in the Generic Guide (p. 37).
  • What are the rules for companies or associations providing animal care service ?
    Businesses or associations offering grooming services (veterinary care and comfort care) and animal shelters may offer their services, subject to compliance with the above-mentioned minimum rules and any protocols that apply. The provision of services at home is allowed.

Health

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  • Infection and protection
    The hygiene measures are adapted over time, according to the evolution of the pandemic, scientific knowledge and insight. The most up-to-date information is available at the following address: https://covid-19.sciensano.be/nl
  • What is meant by "a face mask"?
    A mask without an exhaust valve, made out of fabric or disposable material, which fits closely to the face, covering the nose, mouth and chin, and is intended to prevent the spread of infection between people. Fabric accessories such as bandanas, scarves and buffs are therefore not accepted as an alternative to face masks.
  • What are the recommendations in terms of social distancing and wearing face masks in public places?

    People are no longer required to follow the social distancing rules in the following cases:

    • people living under the same roof;
    • children mixing up to the age of 9;
    • people belonging to the same group;
    • people meeting each other at home;
    • between counsellors and their clients (people in need of counselling).
    • during private gatherings;
    • during civil marriages;
    • during funerals;
    • during congregational worship and the collective practice of non-denominational moral services and of activities within a philosophical association;
    • during individual worship and the individual practice of non-denominational moral services and of activities within a philosophical association;
    • when individually or collectively visiting places of worship or buildings intended for non-denominational moral services;
    • if this is impossible due to the nature of the activity.
    • if access is organised using the Covid Safe Ticket (CST), in accordance with the Cooperation Agreement of 14 July 2021, including mass events.

    Everyone from the age of 10 is strongly advised to cover their mouth and nose with a face mask in all situations where it is impossible to ensure compliance with the rules of social distancing (unless stated otherwise).

    In certain places, however, wearing a face mask remains mandatory:

    • on public transport from entering the indoor areas of the airport, the station, on the platform or a bus, (pre-)metro, tram, train stop or any other means of transport organised by a public authority. Public transport operators and all bus operators carrying out public transport services are not required to cover their nose and mouth, insofar as the driver is well-isolated in a cabin on the one hand, and a poster and/or sticker indicates to users the reason why the driver is not wearing a mask on the other;
    • in the confined spaces of organised collective transport (i.e. transport organised in advance with a clear itinerary or final destination and a vehicle with at least 9+1 seats (passengers + driver)), this does not apply to public transport operators, insofar as the driver is well-isolated in a cabin on the one hand, and a poster and/or sticker indicates to users the reason why the driver is not wearing a mask on the other;
    • in establishments and places where close-contact professions are carried out. This applies to service providers and customers where there is direct physical contact between the service provider and the customer or where the distance of 1.5 metres cannot be guaranteed between the service provider and the customer for a duration of at least 15 minutes;
    • the publicly accessible areas of companies, associations and services;
    • the publicly accessible areas of commercial establishments, shops and shopping centres;
    • libraries, game and multimedia libraries;
    • in areas accessible to the public of establishments belonging to the cultural, festive, sports, recreational and event sectors, including fitness centres;
    • in places of worship and buildings intended for the public practice of non-denominational moral services;
    • when moving around in public and non-public parts of courthouses and courtrooms and, in other cases, in accordance with the guidelines laid down by the Chairman;
    • the publicly accessible areas of government buildings;
    • establishments and places where catering activities are permitted, both for staff and those customers who are not seated at a table or at the bar;
    • locations where private gatherings take place with more than 50 people indoors or 100 people outdoors;
    • venues for events of any size, including mass events;
    • other locations where access is organised in accordance with the Cooperation Agreement of 14 July 2021 with regard to the CST.

    The face mask requirement does not apply to night clubs and dance halls provided that entry is organised using approved negative self-test results as soon as the applicable Cooperation Agreement allows it. For more information, please consult the Coronavirus Commission’s Events FAQ here: https://fdn01.fed.be/documents/442e3534a2891223a186c28bbfd1be07/FAQ%20evenementen%20-%2019112021_NL.pdf

    Face masks may be removed occasionally whilst eating and drinking, and when it is impossible to wear one due to the nature of the activity.

    When it is not possible to wear a face mask due to medical reasons, a face shield can be worn.

    People who are unable to wear a face mask or a face shield due to a disability, substantiated by a medical certificate, do not have to comply with this obligation.

    It should be noted, once again, that wearing a face mask is an additional protection that does not exempt people from applying the basic principles for individual behaviour:

    • limit your social contacts;
    • respect hygiene measures;
    • choose outdoor activities where possible;
    • be considerate to vulnerable people;
    • keep 1.5 metres distance;

    For more information about fabric face masks, please visit: https://www.info-coronavirus.be/en/facemask/

  • Are there special arrangements for wearing masks for people who are deaf or hard of hearing?
    Yes, in such cases, the interlocutor of a deaf or hard of hearing person can temporarily remove their mask so that the person can lip read. This is only possible for the time strictly necessary for the conversation, subject to social distancing.
  • Who is currently being tested?

    Detailed information concerning the procedure for general practitioners can be found on the Sciensano website: https://epidemio.wiv-isp.be/ID/Pages/2019-nCoV_procedures.aspx.

    More information: https://www.info-coronavirus.be/en/testing/

  • Which quarantine and isolation rules should be followed?
    The rules regarding quarantine can be found on the Sciensano website: https://covid-19.sciensano.be/nl/procedures/quarantaine The rules regarding isolation can be found on the Sciensano website: https://covid-19.sciensano.be/nl/procedures/isolatie
  • Is the government using my personal telecoms data in the fight against the coronavirus?
    No, the government only has access to anonymous data, and carries out analyses that help in the fight against the coronavirus on the basis of this data. The government does not process any address, telephone number or name. It is ensured that the data cannot in any way be traced back to an individual. At the level of aggregation used, members of the public are completely anonymous and their identity is protected.
  • Why are telecoms data used?
    The government uses the anonymised and aggregated telecoms data to help make decisions regarding the control of the pandemic. Using this data, the government can ascertain various useful elements, such as: has the mobility of Belgians decreased since the measures were adopted by the National Security Council? In which geographical areas is mobility higher than in others?
  • Does this mean that all my movements are now being monitored?
    No, no new data is being collected in the context of these analyses. The data does not leave the premises of the telecoms operators. They are anonymised (i.e., it is not possible to know which individual is behind which data point) and aggregated (i.e., there is no analysis of a single individual’s behaviour).
  • Will my data be stored or reused?
    No, the data processed in the context of this project are only being used to tackle the COVID-19 pandemic. Irrelevant data is immediately and continuously deleted. Once the corona crisis is over, all data will be deleted so that they can never be stolen or used against members of the public.
  • Why is it relevant to use telecoms data in the context of a COVID-19 pandemic?

    Using mobile phone data (aggregated and anonymised) to manage epidemiological crises has already been done and has proven its effectiveness. For example, technologies similar to those currently being used were implemented during the Ebola epidemic in West Africa in 2013-2015.

    The coronavirus is transmitted due to physical proximity between individuals. As such, the use of data regarding population movements can provide health authorities with essential information for managing the pandemic.

  • Can this data be used against me?
    Absolutely not. The data processed are completely anonymous and cannot be traced back to individuals. Analyses are only carried out to inform policymakers and the public. Under no circumstances will the data be used for repressive or punitive ends against individual members of the public.
  • Are there similar initiatives in other European countries?
    Yes, governments and mobile operators in other European countries, as well as the European Commission, are working on similar initiatives. The Belgian government is in contact with some of these countries to share expertise and, to the extent possible, also measure cross-border movements.
  • Do these practices comply with national and European privacy regulations?
    Absolutely. In Belgium, special attention is given to scrupulously respecting privacy regulations, unlike in some other regions of the world. The government’s approach is “privacy first”. Not only is compliance with applicable legislation continually monitored, data privacy experts and an ethics committee are also involved in analysing the data. The approach and working methods have been approved by the Data Protection Authority.
  • Who analyses and uses the data?
    The government decides which analyses will be applied to the anonymised and aggregated data, and for which purposes these analyses can be used. This is in close consultation with the Data Protection Authority. The telecoms operators only supply anonymised and aggregated data to Sciensano, which then sends the requested analyses to the government.
  • Can I choose not to provide location data in the context of the 'data against Corona' project?
    No, your location data are not supplied individually. The government only receives an overview of anonymised and aggregated data. This is never individually traceable and completely anonymous. This supply of data has been coordinated with the Data Protection Authority.
  • Are activities requiring physical presence and aimed at people with specific care and support needs allowed?

    Yes, professional activities requiring physical presence, aimed at people with specific care and support needs are allowed, both indoors and out, as long as they are organised by accredited bodies within primary health care, preventive health care, mental health care, elderly care and home care.

    It concerns, for example, (family) therapy sessions with all members of the household, group therapy sessions, supervised self-help group activities, group prenatal care and group stop smoking sessions.

  • Are visits allowed in residential care centres or residential care institutions?
    Please consult the website of the competent authorities for the terms of the visit: Flemish Region: https://www.zorg-en-gezondheid.be/corona-richtlijnen-voor-zorgprofessionals Walloon Region: https://www.wallonie.be/fr/maisons-de-repos Brussels-Capital Region: https://coronavirus.brussels/wp- content/uploads/2020/03/FAQ_Re%CC%81sidentiel_DEF-1.pdf
  • Can local care initiatives for people in an urgent, problematic housing situation continue their activities?

    People in an urgent, problematic housing situation due to unfavourable family circumstances (divorce/breakup, domestic or sexual abuse) or due to the uninhabitable nature of the current home, can get support from local shelter initiatives.

    If necessary, a house visit can also take place provided that the general preventive measures are observed. A house visit cannot take place if the occupant refuses it. Given that the social rental market is considered as an essential service to implement the general social policy, house visits may take place subject to compliance with general preventive measures.

  • Will call centres for people in need (suicide risk, domestic violence, etc.) remain available?
    Yes, subject to social distancing measures by the call takers.

Education

Public services & leisure

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  • Which activities are allowed?

    All establishments belonging to the cultural, festive, sports, recreational and event sectors are open. All these establishments must comply with the following minimum rules and applicable protocols:

    1. operators must visibly inform visitors, employees and third parties in good time regarding the preventive measures in force;
    2. public areas, including terraces in public areas, are organised in accordance with the regulations laid down by the local authorities;
    3. the operator or organiser must provide staff and customers with the means to ensure the necessary hand hygiene;
    4. the operator or organiser must take the appropriate hygiene measures to regularly disinfect the establishment and the material used;
    5. the operator or organiser must ensure good ventilation;
    6. wearing a face mask is mandatory in confined public areas of these establishments, including in fitness centres;
    7. access to establishments belonging to the cultural, festive and recreational sectors must be organised in accordance with the Cooperation Agreement of 14 July 2021 concerning the Covid Safe Ticket on the basis of the Decree or Ordinance that has been or will be adopted in this respect.

    The use of an air quality meter (CO2) is mandatory in enclosed communal areas of establishments belonging to the sports sector, including fitness centres, and of establishments belonging to the events sector, including night clubs and dance halls. This meter must be installed in a place clearly visible to visitors, unless a publicly accessible alternative display system is provided in real time. The air quality meter must be present in every single room where food and beverages are prepared and served, where smoking is permitted, where sports are played, where events take place, where there are queues, and in changing rooms. The indoor air quality guideline is 900 ppm CO2. If the value of 900 ppm is exceeded, the operator must have an action plan based on a risk analysis to ensure compensatory measures for ventilation and/or air disinfection and/or air filtration as referred to in the Ministerial Decree of 12 May 2021 provisionally determining the conditions for the placing on the market of ventilation purification systems for the control of SARS-CoV-2 not for medical purposes, which ensure adequate air quality equivalent to the air quality standard of 900 ppm. If the value of 1200 ppm is exceeded, the operator is advised to also provide an approved air disinfection and/or air filtration system that ensures adequate air quality equivalent to the air quality standard of 900 ppm.

    Communal areas are places where several people gather for a period of more than 15 minutes:

    • In the context of sports facilities, this refers to places where sports activities take place and to changing rooms, but not to corridors. An action plan must be drawn up for changing rooms where visitors stay for less than 15 minutes;
    • In the context of health centres, this refers to places where people gather (for activities, catering, waiting, resting), but not to corridors or rooms;
    • In the context of event infrastructure, this refers to places where the activity(ies) take place, as well as catering and waiting areas.

    The obligation to use an air quality meter (CO2) depends on the nature of the establishment, and not on the nature of the activity. This obligation therefore only applies to establishments in the sports sector, including fitness centres, or in the events sector, including night clubs and dance halls, but not to establishments belonging to the cultural, festive or recreational sector (such as youth clubs).

    Please note that for indoor mass events (with an audience of 200 or more people), the obligation to use an air quality meter (CO2) is imposed on the infrastructure where the mass event takes place. This is not necessarily an establishment belonging to the events or sports sector. In the case of a mass event, the obligation therefore depends on the nature of the activity.

  • What are the rules for social contact ?

    Private gatherings are allowed, i.e. gatherings where, prior to the start of the gathering, the organiser restricts access by means of individual invitations to a well-defined target group associated with the organiser that can be clearly distinguished from the general public.

    In the following cases, among others, it does not concern a private gathering:

    • the invitation can be obtained at the initiative of the invitee;
    • the invitation can be obtained after the start of the gathering;
    • the invitation can be obtained by people who cannot prove any connection to the organiser.

    Private gatherings may be held indoors for a maximum of 50 people.

    Private gatherings may be held outdoors for a maximum of 100 people.

    The social distancing rules continue to apply, except for the exceptions listed under the “Health” section.

  • Are there any specific measures for public transport?

    Public transport users from the age of 10 must cover their mouth and nose by wearing a face mask inside airports, stations, on platforms or at a stop, in the bus, the (pre)metro, the tram, the train or any other means of transport organised by the public authorities. If it is not possible to wear a face mask for medical reasons, a face shield can be worn.

    Public transport operators and all bus operators carrying out public transport services are not required to cover their nose and mouth, insofar as the driver is well-isolated in a cabin on the one hand, and a poster and/or sticker indicates to users the reason why the driver is not wearing a mask on the other. This exception also applies, under the same conditions, to drivers of organised collective transport (e.g. school bus).

    Please consult the relevant websites for the available services of transport companies.

    In addition, the National Railway Company of Belgium (NMBS/SNCB) will take the necessary measures to ensure maximum compliance with preventive measures in stations, on platforms or at stops, on trains or on any other means of transport it organises, in cooperation with the local authorities concerned as well as the police.

  • Are private buses and coaches allowed to organise passenger transport?

    Yes, buses and coaches may arrange organised transport, subject to the application of the necessary hygiene and preventive measures by passengers and transport companies.

    On board organised collective transport (i.e. transport organised in advance with a clear route or final destination with a vehicle with at least 9+1 seats (passengers + driver)), passengers from the age of 10 must cover their mouth and nose by wearing a face mask and keep a distance of 1.5 m where possible. If it is not possible to wear a face mask for medical reasons, a face shield can be worn.

  • What about taxis (and other on-demand transport services)?

    Taxis are allowed to transport customers. A minimum distance of 1.5 metres must be maintained between each person. The number of people that can be transported varies according to the type of vehicle.

    People who do not have to respect the social distancing measures amongst each other may share the same vehicle. It is recommended to regularly ventilate and clean the vehicle.

    It is highly recommended to cover mouth and nose with a face mask if the social distancing measures cannot be respected. Wearing a face mask is mandatory as soon as the means of transport meets the above-mentioned definition of organised collective transport.

  • What measures have been taken with regard to carpooling? How many people are allowed to travel in a private car?

    As is the case for taxis, a minimum distance of 1.5 metres between each person must be respected during transport. The number of people that can be transported varies according to the type of vehicle.

    People who do not have to respect the social distancing measures amongst each other may share the same vehicle. It is recommended to ventilate and clean the car regularly.

    It is highly recommended to cover mouth and nose with a face mask if the social distancing measures cannot be respected. Wearing a face mask is mandatory as soon as the means of transport meets the above-mentioned definition of organised collective transport.

  • What about tourism?

    For more details regarding international travel, please consult the “International” section.

    All forms of accommodation (including hotels, aparthotels, gîtes, B&Bs, holiday parks and campsites), including their restaurants and bars and their other shared facilities (swimming pool, wellness centres, jacuzzi, etc.), are open, subject to compliance with the measures and protocols in force.

  • YOUTH SECTOR

    Specifically for the youth sector there are protocols that can be consulted via the following link:

  • What are the rules for sports training sessions and competitions (participants? )

    Both the indoor and outdoor areas of the establishments belonging to the sports sector are accessible to everyone, subject to compliance with the minimum rules listed above and the applicable protocol.

    In the enclosed communal areas of establishments belonging to the sports sector, including fitness centres, the use of an air quality meter (CO2) is mandatory. It must be installed in a place clearly visible to the visitor. This meter must be installed in a place clearly visible to visitors, unless a publicly accessible alternative display system is provided in real time. The air quality meter must be present in every single room where food and beverages are prepared and served, where smoking is permitted, where sports are played, where events take place, where there are queues, and in changing rooms. The indoor air quality guideline is 900 ppm CO2. If the value of 900 ppm is exceeded, the operator must have an action plan to ensure compensatory measures for ventilation and/or air disinfection and/or air filtration as referred to in the Ministerial Decree of 12 May 2021 provisionally determining the conditions for the placing on the market of ventilation purification systems for the control of SARS-CoV-2 not for medical purposes, which ensure adequate air quality equivalent to the air quality standard of 900 ppm. If the value of 1200 ppm is exceeded, the operator is advised to also provide an approved ventilation and/or air disinfection and/or air filtration system that ensures adequate air quality equivalent to the air quality standard of 900 ppm.

    Communal areas are places where sports activities take place and changing rooms where visitors stay longer than 15 minutes. This does not include corridors. An action plan must be drawn up for changing rooms where visitors stay for less than 15 minutes.

    Sports competitions and sports training sessions can take place without any limitation on the number of participants.

  • What are the rules for swimming pools?

    Swimming pools (including the recreational areas and subtropical swimming pools) are open. The protocols of the communities regulate the conditions in terms of access and organisation. The tourist accommodations may also allow customers access to their pool, provided that they respect the rules in the protocol applicable to pools.

    The operation of the swimming pool and the activities that take place in the swimming pool must respect the above-mentioned minimum rules.

  • CULTURE AND RECREATION

    Both the indoor and outdoor parts of establishments belonging to the cultural, festive and recreational sector are open to the public, including casinos, amusement arcades, wellness centres, indoor playgrounds, bowling alleys, cinemas, laser games, paintballs and trampoline parks). The minimum rules and applicable protocols must be adhered to.

    Night clubs and dance halls, i.e. places of entertainment consisting of one or more halls where the main activity is dancing, can only carry out their activities, provided that access is organised using the Covid Safe Ticket (CST), in accordance with the Cooperation Agreement of 14 July 2021. Furthermore, the minimum rules applicable to the catering industry and to establishments belonging to the cultural, festive, sports, recreational and events sectors must be respected.

    As the obligation to organise access with the Covid Safe Ticket for night clubs and dance halls is imposed because of the nature of the establishment and not because of the nature of the activity, the CST must also be used for private gatherings and small events organised in a night club or dance hall.

  • THE ORGANISATION OF PUBLIC EVENTS, SPORTS COMPETITIONS AND SPORTS TRAINING SESSIONS, CULTURAL AND OTHER PERFORMANCES OR CONFERENCES

    Events without the Covid Safe Ticket

    Events, including Christmas markets and winter villages, cultural and other performances, sports competitions and training sessions, and conferences may be organised for up to 50 people indoors and 100 people outdoors, not including staff and organisers, if the Covid Safe Ticket is not used. It is recommended to comply with the social distancing rules and to wear a face mask, also on the dance floor.

    It is no longer possible to deviate from these maximum numbers by using the CERM/CIRM or based on specific catering regulations.

    The minimum hospitality rules must be respected at these events. The minimum rules and protocols applicable to establishments belonging to the cultural, festive, sports, recreational and events sectors, as explained above under the general introduction in this chapter “Public Life”, apply for the remainder.

    Mass events and pilot projects

    The maximum number of 50 people indoors and 100 people outdoors as mentioned above under Title 1 can only be exceeded when using the Covid Safe Ticket, in accordance with the Cooperation Agreement of 14 July 2021.

    A mass event is a public event, such as Christmas markets, winter villages and sports competitions.

    Mass events and pilot projects may be organised indoors for an audience of at least 50 people and up to 75,000 people per day, not including employees and organisers, subject to prior authorisation from the competent municipal authority and in compliance with the terms of the Cooperation Agreement of 14 July 2021 concerning the Covid Safe Ticket. Wearing a face mask is compulsory, also on the dance floor.

    Mass events and pilot projects may be organised outdoors for an audience of at least 100 people and up to 75,000 people per day, not including employees and organisers, subject to prior authorisation from the competent municipal authority and in compliance with the terms of the Cooperation Agreement of 14 July 2021 concerning the Covid Safe Ticket. Wearing a face mask is compulsory, also on the dance floor.

    The above-mentioned minimum numbers are subject to change by the local authorities as well as by the federated entities in accordance with the Cooperation Agreement of 14 July 2021. A mass event with an audience of less than 50 people indoors or less than 100 people outdoors may also be organised under the conditions of the Cooperation Agreement of 14 July 2021, provided that the organiser informs visitors in advance.

    The use of an air quality meter (CO2) is mandatory in every enclosed area of infrastructures where mass events with an audience of 50 or more people take place. This meter must be installed in a place clearly visible to visitors, unless a publicly accessible alternative display system is provided in real time. The indoor air quality guideline is 900 ppm CO2. If the value of 900 ppm is exceeded, the operator must have an action plan, based on a risk analysis, to ensure compensatory measures for ventilation and/or air disinfection and/or air filtration, which guarantee adequate air quality equivalent to the air quality standard of 900 ppm. If the value of 1200 ppm is exceeded, the operator is advised to also provide an approved air disinfection and/or air filtration system that ensures adequate air quality equivalent to the air quality standard of 900 ppm.

    The arrival zone to the mass event will be organised in such a way that social distancing rules can be respected. At mass events, it is not mandatory to comply with social distancing rules, however, it compulsory to wear a face mask.

    Professional caterers must comply with the following minimum rules at mass events and during pilot projects, without prejudice to the applicable protocols:

    • operators must visibly inform their customers, employees and third parties in good time regarding the preventive measures in force;
    • operators must provide staff and customers with the means to ensure the necessary hand hygiene;
    • operators must take the appropriate hygiene measures to regularly disinfect the establishment and the material used;
    • the operator must ensure good ventilation;
    • public areas, including terraces in public areas, are organised in accordance with the regulations laid down by the local authorities.
    • staff must wear a face mask;
    • customers must wear a face mask when they are not seated at a table or at the bar.

    For more information, please consult the Coronavirus Commission’s Events FAQ here https://fdn01.fed.be/documents/442e3534a2891223a186c28bbfd1be07/FAQ%20evenementen%20-%2019112021_NL.pdf

    The Minister of the Interior can, after reasoned advice from the competent minister(s), the local authorities concerned and the Federal Minister of Health, grant these pilot projects permission to deviate from the rules of the Royal Decree. However, this does not apply to the maximum number of 75,000 visitors. The pilot projects are organised in accordance with the protocol defined by the competent ministers and the Federal Minister of Public Health. The protocol contains a framework, timeline and roadmap for the organisation of these pilot projects, both indoors and outdoors, in accordance with the agreements of the Consultative Committee.

  • What about demonstrations?
    Demonstrations are allowed with no limit to the maximum number of participants. However, it remains mandatory to comply with the social distancing rules.
  • PRIVATE GATHERINGS

    Private gatherings are allowed where, prior to the start of the gathering, the organiser restricts access by means of individual invitations to a well-defined target group associated with the organiser that can be clearly distinguished from the general public.

    In the following cases, among others, it does not concern a private gathering:

    • the invitation can be obtained at the initiative of the invitee;
    • the invitation can be obtained after the start of the gathering;
    • the invitation can be obtained by people who cannot prove any connection to the organiser.

    Private gatherings may be held indoors for a maximum of 50 people.

    Private gatherings may be held outdoors for a maximum of 100 people.

    Wearing a face mask is in this case not compulsory. There is no specific recommendation to follow the social distancing rules; dance parties are, in this instance, allowed. The catering rules (including the obligation to wear a face mask) apply to professional catering services at home and during private gatherings.

    The maximum number of 50 people indoors and 100 people outdoors may be exceeded, provided that those present wear a face mask, that access is organised in accordance with the Cooperation Agreement of 14 July 2021 as soon as this allows it, and that the organiser informs those present in advance.

    If the private meeting takes place in a night club or dance hall, the use of the CST is therefore mandatory, given that access to night clubs or dance halls is only possible by means of the CST.

    It is strongly recommended that social contacts be kept to a minimum and preferably take place outdoors. It is recommended to respect the basic principles in all social contacts.

  • What about youth activities?

    Specifically for the youth sector there are protocols that can be consulted via the following link:

  • CIVIL MARRIAGES, FUNERALS, RELIGIOUS SERVICES AND CEREMONIES
    Wearing a face mask is mandatory in places of worship and buildings intended for the public practice of non-denominational moral services and in the areas of public administration buildings open to the public.
  • Which rules apply to visiting a place of worship?

    In places of worship and buildings intended for the public practice of non-denominational moral services, it is mandatory to wear a face mask except:

    • when the nature of the activity makes it impossible to wear them, for example for the preacher during the sermon or for the choristers whilst singing;
    • to eat or drink, for example to drink water during congregational worship or at the coffee table at the place of worship, following the congregational worship.

Transport & International

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  • Can I travel to and from Belgium?
    1. As Andorra, Monaco, San Marino, and the Holy See/Vatican City are considered to be EU countries, their residents are to be considered EU residents for the purposes mentioned below. Nationals of these countries are therefore considered to be EU citizens.
    2. For the purposes mentioned below, “carrier” means:
    • a public or private air carrier;
    • public or private maritime transport;
    • an inland waterway carrier;
    • a public or private train or bus operator for transport from a country outside the European Union and the Schengen area.
    1. For the purposes mentioned below, a ‘third country’ means any country which is not part of the European Union or the Schengen Area.
  • General principles

    Non-essential travel to Belgium is prohibited for people who are not a national of the EU, nor of a country that is part of the Schengen Area, and who have their primary residence in a third country not listed in Annex I to Council Recommendation (EU) 2020/912 of 30 June 2020 on the temporary restriction of non-essential travel to the EU and its possible lifting, except for travellers with a vaccination certificate, as well as for young people up to the age of 17 travelling with a supervisor who has a vaccination certificate. This is an EU Digital COVID Certificate or a vaccination certificate issued in a country not belonging to the European Union deemed equivalent by the European Commission on the basis of the implementing acts or by Belgium on the basis of bilateral agreements proving that all doses of a vaccine against the SARS-Cov-2 mentioned on the list on https://www.info-coronavirus.be/nl/ have been administered for at least two weeks before travelling.

    In the absence of an equivalence decision by the European Commission, a vaccination certificate issued in a country not belonging to the European Union and containing at least the following information in Dutch, French, German or English will also be accepted:

    • data specific to the person who has been vaccinated (name, date of birth and/or ID number);
    • data demonstrating that all doses of a vaccine against SARS-Cov-2 have been administered for at least two weeks before travelling, as indicated in the leaflet on the website “info-coronavirus.be” of the Federal Public Service Health, Food Chain Safety and Environment;
    • the brand name and the name of the manufacturer or marketing authorisation holder of each vaccine administered. If one of the two names is not mentioned, the batch number should also be given;
    • the date each dose of the vaccine was administered;
    • the name of the country, the province or the region where the vaccination certificate was issued;
    • the issuer of the vaccination certificate.

    Travel to countries outside the European Union and the Schengen Area remains strongly advised against.

    Please note: Special measures apply to people who, at any time during the past 14 days, have been on the territory of countries classified as very high-risk. There are currently no countries classified as very high-risk zones.

    Please note: You are NOT allowed to travel when in quarantine or isolation. If you are in quarantine or isolation abroad, you must complete the quarantine or isolation before returning to Belgium. Only in exceptional cases and in consultation with the health authorities can this rule be deviated from.

  • Colour codes

    Since 1 February 2021, the colour codes describing the epidemiological situation of the COVID-19 pandemic are indicated on the info-coronavirus.be website. For countries within the European Union/European Economic Area, the colour codes are aligned with those of the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC, https://reopen.europa.eu/en). Third countries are considered to be red zones, with the exception of the countries on the white list (https://www.info-coronavirus.be/en/colour-codes-by-country/#whitelist) for which the travel restrictions have temporarily been lifted.

    The Belgian approach for people arriving in Belgium depends on whether they are returning from a red, orange or green zone. Depending on the country or region you are travelling from, different measures apply after your arrive in Belgium.

    • Red zones are regions or countries where individuals are at a high risk of infection. Upon return from a red zone, additional measures are in force (PLF, test, quarantine, certificates), subject to possible exemptions.
    • Orange zones are regions or countries for which a moderately elevated risk of infection has been identified. Apart from filling in the PLF, there are no special measures in place.
    • Green zones are regions or countries for which a low risk of infection has been identified. Apart from filling in the PLF, there are no special measures in place.

    In addition to the colour coding system, there are also special measures relating to the territory of countries classified as very high-risk. These countries are subject to stricter measures. There are currently no countries classified as very high-risk zones.

    Entry into the country of destination depends on the conditions imposed by the destination country. Travel advisories are subject to change. It is important, on the one hand, to consult the measures for each country prior to departure and, on the other hand, to consult the travel advice for each country on the FPS Foreign Affairs website in order to know the situation and the measures to be taken in the country of destination. It is also important to consult the website during the stay abroad in order to take note of any changes. See: https://diplomatie.belgium.be/en

  • Measures specific to territories of countries classified as very high risk

    Some countries are classified as very high-risk countries. There are currently no countries classified as very high-risk zones.

    An entry ban applies to these third countries classified as very high-risk zones:

    • It is forbidden for people who have been on the territory of countries classified as very high risk at any time during the past 14 days to travel, either directly or indirectly, to Belgian territory.

    • Only the following people are allowed to travel to or through Belgium:

    • People holding Belgian nationality;

    • People having their main residence in Belgium;

    • The spouse or partner of a person who has Belgian nationality or has his/her main residence in Belgium. This spouse or partner must live under the same roof as the person with Belgian nationality or who has his/her main residence in Belgium. These travellers must have an Essential Travel Certificate issued by the Belgian diplomatic or consular post. The de facto partners must have provided plausible evidence of a stable and long-term relationship (see FAQ “Can I travel to visit my partner?);

    • The children of a person who has Belgian nationality or has his/her main residence in Belgium or of his/her spouse or partner as described above, insofar as they live under the same roof. These travellers must hold an Essential Travel Certificate issued by the Belgian diplomatic or consular post;

    • People who travel through Belgium from a very high-risk country to the country of the European Union or Schengen Area of which they are a national or where they have their main residence

    • People transiting outside the European Union and the Schengen Area (transit via a high-risk country without leaving the international zone of the airport or transit in Belgium from a high-risk country without leaving the airport’s non-Schengen Area);

    • People travelling for compelling humanitarian reasons. These people must have a Certificate of Travel for Humanitarian Reasons issued by the Belgian diplomatic or consular post and approved by the Immigration Office;

    • Transport personnel, freight and cargo personnel, mariners, tug crews, pilots and industrial staff working at offshore wind farms travelling for work. These travellers must have a certificate issued by their employer;

    • Diplomats, staff of international organisations and people invited by international organisations whose physical presence is required for the proper functioning of those organisations, when performing their duties. These travellers must have an Essential Travel Certificate issued by the Belgian diplomatic or consular post.

    • People whose physical presence is indispensable for national security purposes, provided that they hold an essential travel document issued by the Belgian diplomatic or consular post and approved by the Immigration Office.

    For the above-mentioned authorised travellers, stricter measures apply before and upon arrival in Belgium:

    • Before arriving in Belgium, they must always fill in a Passenger Locator Form (PLF), regardless of how they travel or for how long they are staying in Belgium or abroad.
    • If they do not have their main residence in Belgium, anyone older than 12 must always be able to present a negative PCR test conducted less than 72 hours prior to arrival;
    • They must get tested in Belgium on day 1 (residents and non-residents) and day 7 (residents and non-residents). In addition, all people returning from a very high-risk third country must spend 10 days in quarantine, except for carrying out activities which are the essential reason for travelling to Belgium in the case of diplomats and transport staff;
    • The measures relating to arrival in Belgium (testing/quarantine) apply even to fully vaccinated people.

    The above-mentioned specific terms are in addition to the normal conditions of access to Belgium. It is, for instance, important to always take into account which entry requirements for the Schengen Area and which visa procedures are in force for certain travellers.

    Possible exemptions to testing and quarantine are stipulated in the decrees of the relevant federated entities.

  • I am a national of the EU or of a country that is part of the Schengen Area, OR my primary residence is in the EU or in a country that is part of the Schengen Area, or my primary residence is in a third country included on this white list https://www.info-coronavirus.be/nl/kleurcodes-per-land/#white%20list . May I travel to or from Belgium?

    You are allowed to travel to and from Belgium.

    Non-essential travel to countries outside the European Union and the Schengen Area is, however, strongly discouraged.

    Upon your return to or arrival in Belgium, you must respect the applicable measures (Passenger Locator Form, tests, quarantine, etc.).

    Please note: Special measures apply to people who, at any time during the past 14 days, have been on the territory of countries classified as very high risk.

    There are currently no countries classified as very high-risk zones.

  • I am not a national of the EU, nor of a country that is part of the Schengen Area, AND my primary residence is in a third country which is not included on the white list https://www.info-coronavirus.be/nl/kleurcodes-per-land/#white%20list , and is not considered to be a very high-risk country https://www.info-coronavirus.be/nl/hoog-risico-landen/ . May I travel to Belgium

    Since 1 July 2021, you can travel to Belgium if you have been vaccinated for at least two weeks before travelling with all the doses indicated in the leaflet of a vaccine against SARS-Cov-2 listed on https://www.info-coronavirus.be/nl/ and can prove this by means of a vaccination certificate such as the EU Digital COVID Certificate or an equivalent (based on a decision of the European Commission) https://ec.europa.eu/info/live-work-travel-eu/coronavirus-response/safe-covid-19-vaccines-europeans/eu-digital-covid-certificate_nl From 1 September, other vaccination certificates can be accepted from a country outside the EU in the absence of an equivalence decision.

    If you do not have a vaccination certificate, you may only travel to or from Belgium for the following trips which are considered to be essential and you must carry an Essential Travel Certificate or official document (see below):

    1° health professionals, health researchers and professionals providing care for the elderly who are travelling for work;

    2° frontier workers travelling for work;

    3° seasonal agricultural and horticultural workers travelling for work;

    4° transport personnel travelling for work;

    5° diplomats, staff members of international organisations and people invited by international organisations and institutions whose physical presence is required for the proper functioning of those organisations and institutions, military personnel and personnel belonging to the forces of law and order, customs authorities, intelligence services and magistrates travelling for professional purposes, as well as humanitarian and civil protection staff, when performing their duties;

    6° travel for transit purposes to destinations outside the Schengen Area and the European Union;

    7° travel for compelling family reasons, i.e.:

    • travel justified by family reunification, as defined in the Law of 15 December 1980 on entry, stay, settlement and removal of foreign nationals;
    • visits to a spouse or partner who does not live under the same roof, insofar as the stable and long-term character of the relationship can be proven;
    • travel in the context of co-parenting (including treatment related to medically assisted reproduction);
    • travel in the context of funerals or cremations of first- and second-degree relatives;
    • Travel in the context of civil and religious marriages of first- and second-degree relatives;

    8° mariners travelling for work;

    9° travel for humanitarian reasons (including travel for compelling medical reasons or to continue urgent medical treatment, but also in order to provide assistance or care to an elderly person, a minor, a disabled person or a vulnerable person);

    10° study-related travel such as travel by pupils, students or trainees who are undergoing education or training as part of their studies, or study-related travel by researchers with a hosting agreement;

    11° travel undertaken by qualified professionals for economically necessary reasons which cannot be postponed; including professional sportsmen and sportswomen with elite sport status, cultural sector professionals with a combined licence and journalists travelling for work.

    12° travel by the spouse or partner of a person who is a national of the EU or the Schengen Area, insofar as they live under the same roof, as well as travel by their children who live under the same roof. The de facto partners must also be able to provide plausible evidence of a stable and long-term relationship.

    Travel by persons coming to Belgium to work in salaried employment, including young au pairs, irrespective of the duration of their activity, on condition that they have been authorised to do so by the competent Region (employment authorisation or evidence that the conditions for exemption have been fulfilled); Travel by persons coming to Belgium to work as a self-employed person, irrespective of the duration of their activity, on condition that they have been authorised to do so by the competent Region (valid professional card or evidence that the conditions for exemption have been fulfilled).

    In the absence of this essential journey certificate or in case the certificate contains false, misleading or incomplete information, and if the essential nature of the journey is not apparent from the official documents carried by the traveller, entry may be refused.

    These specific conditions are in addition to the normal conditions of access to Belgium. It is, for instance, important to always take into account which visa procedures are in force for certain travellers. For passengers requiring a visa to come to Belgium, it should be noted that the COVID-19 pandemic may have an impact on the visa application procedures in certain places and/or at certain times. Finally, passengers can only enter Belgium or the EU if they comply with existing EU and national regulations, which determine the conditions under which third-country nationals can enter the territory. This is independent of the specific restrictions or measures temporarily in place for public health reasons within the COVID-19 context.

    For citizens of countries not requiring a visa, the following rules apply: the person must travel with an essential journey certificate. This certificate is issued by the competent Belgian embassy or consulate if it is proven that the journey is essential. An essential journey certificate is not mandatory if the essential nature of the journey is evidenced by the traveller’s documents. For example: seamen (Seaman’s Discharge Book), transit passengers (airline ticket) and diplomats (diplomatic passport), transport (consignment note). For more information about this procedure, please go to: https://dofi.ibz.be/nl

    Where a carrier is used, the carrier is obliged to check that passengers are carrying this certificate or vaccination certificate before boarding. In the absence of this certificate or vaccination certificate, the carrier is obliged to refuse boarding. Upon arrival on Belgian territory, the carrier must check again whether the traveller is carrying this certificate or vaccination certificate.

    Please note: Special measures may apply to people who, at any time during the past 14 days, have been on the territory of countries classified as very high-risk. There are currently no countries classified as very high-risk zones.

  • Can I travel to visit my partner?

    Visiting a partner who does not live under the same roof is considered to be essential travel, except for third countries which have been classified as a very high-risk zone. There are currently no countries classified as very high-risk zones.

    For travellers whose primary residence is in a third country that isn’t on the white list and who are not a national of the EU nor of a country that is part of the Schengen Area, the following conditions apply: the partner must have reached the age of majority (18 and older) and be single. The stable and long-term character of the relationship must be demonstrated when applying for a visa (nationalities requiring a visa) or for an essential journey certificate (nationalities not requiring a visa). The relationship must still exist at the time of travel.

    The stable and long-term character of a relationship can be demonstrated as follows:

    • the partners either provide evidence of having lived together for 6 months in Belgium or another country;
    • or the partners provide evidence of having an intimate relationship of at least 1 year during which the partners have seen each other physically at least twice and for a minimum duration of 20 days. If a meeting had to be postponed due to COVID-19 measures, proof of the planned trip may be considered as a second visit;
    • or the partners provide evidence of having a child together.

    The partner abroad must apply for a visa or an essential journey certificate from the Belgian diplomatic or consular post (for nationalities not subject to a visa requirement). The post issues this visa or certificate if the essential nature of the journey is demonstrated and, in the case of a visa application, if all the conditions for entry into the Schengen Area are fulfilled. Travellers must be able to prove that these conditions are fulfilled when presenting themselves at the external borders of the Schengen Area.

  • WHAT TRAVEL-RELATED MEASURES ARE IN PLACE?

    Please note : If police services (for example the airport police) suspect that a person has forged a document related to the enforcement of the coronavirus protection measures, for example a vaccination, test or recovery certificate or the Passenger Locator Form, and/or has made use of the false document, an official report will be drawn up. The official report will be forwarded to the public prosecutor.

    This is considered to be a serious offence with fraudulent intent. The coronavirus strategy to fight COVID-19 depends on the authenticity of these documents. A direct summons to appear before the criminal court will be issued where there is sufficient proof of fraud whilst accounting for any mitigating circumstances.

    Certificates are issued by the competent authorities depending on the type of certificate.

    The validity and correctness of the certificate are checked by scanning the QR code or by checking the minimum information that must be present on the certificate.

    Certificates for children can be downloaded by the parents.

    Carriers are obliged to check whether all passengers returning from a red zone, who are older than 12 and non-residents in Belgium, are able to submit a vaccination, test or recovery certificate before boarding the organised transport. In the absence of a vaccination, test or recovery certificate, carriers are obliged to refuse boarding.

    A. Vaccination certificate

    An EU Digital COVID Certificate or a vaccination certificate issued in a country not belonging to the European Union deemed equivalent https://ec.europa.eu/info/live-work-travel-eu/coronavirus-response/safe-covid-19-vaccines-europeans/eu-digital-covid-certificate_nl by the European Commission on the basis of the implementing acts or by Belgium on the basis of bilateral agreements proving that all doses of a vaccine against the SARS-Cov-2 mentioned on the website “info-coronavirus.be” of the Federal Public Service for Public Health, Food Chain Safety and the Environment have been administered for at least two weeks before travelling.

    In the absence of an equivalence decision by the European Commission, a vaccination certificate issued in a country not belonging to the European Union and containing at least the following information in Dutch, French, German or English will also be accepted:

    • data specific to the person who has been vaccinated (name, date of birth and/or ID number);
    • data demonstrating that all doses of a vaccine against SARS-Cov-2 have been administered for at least two weeks before travelling, as indicated in the leaflet on the website “info-coronavirus.be” of the Federal Public Service Health, Food Chain Safety and Environment;
    • the brand name or the name of the manufacturer or marketing authorisation holder of each vaccine administered. If one of the two names is not mentioned, the batch number should also be given;
    • the date each dose of the vaccine was administered;
    • the name of the country, the province or the region where the vaccination certificate was issued;
    • the issuer of the vaccination certificate.

    B. Test certificate

    An EU Digital COVID Certificate or another certificate in Dutch, French, German or English which indicates that a negative Nucleic Acid Amplification Test (NAAT) was carried out in an official laboratory not more than 72 hours prior to arrival on Belgian territory, or a Rapid Antigen Test (RAT) with a negative result carried out no more than 36 hours before arrival on Belgian territory by a professional.

    C. Recovery certificate

    An EU Digital COVID Certificate of recovery or a recovery certificate from a country which is not part of the European Union that is deemed equivalent by the European Commission on the basis of the implementing act or by Belgium on the basis of bilateral agreements.

    A recovery certificate can only be issued for a positive PCR test older than 11 days (= the isolation period after infection), and performed in the previous 180 days. The certificate is valid for 180 days and the period of validity begins at the time of sampling. Please note that other countries may impose additional restrictions or conditions.

  • What should I do if the country of destination requests a negative COVID-19 test before entering its territory?
  • When should I test certificate to travel to Belgium?

    People who do not have their primary residence in Belgium must have a negative test result from the age of 12 upon arrival from a red zone (see colour codes https://www.info-coronavirus.be/en/colour-codes-by-country/ ) or from a country classified as a very high-risk zone (cf this list https://www.info-coronavirus.be/en/countries-with-high-risk/ ), based on a Nucleic Acid Amplification Test (NAAT) carried out at the earliest 72 hours before arrival on Belgian territory in an official laboratory or a Rapid Antigen Test (RAT) with a negative result carried out no more than 36 hours before arrival on Belgian territory by a professional. There are currently no countries classified as very high-risk zones.

    Exemptions

    • Travellers who can present a vaccination certificate or a recovery certificate;
    • People not travelling to Belgium via a carrier and who have been abroad for a maximum of 48 hours, or will remain in Belgium for a maximum of 48 hours, do not have to present a test certificate;
    • Travellers who only transit by air and who only enter the transit zone do not have to present a test certificate either. They must have a confirmed ticket for their connecting flight. Travellers must have a test certificate before arriving in Belgium if this is needed to travel on to the final destination. They cannot get tested in Belgium since the entry conditions have not been met;

    These exemptions from having a negative test result prior to travelling do not apply to people who have been on the territory of a third country classified as a very high-risk zone at any time during the 14 days prior to their arrival in Belgium. Travellers coming from these countries must always have a negative test result based on a Nucleic Acid Amplification Test (NAAT) carried out at the earliest 72 hours before arrival in Belgium in an official laboratory or a Rapid Antigen Test (RAT) with a negative result carried out no more than 36 hours before arrival on Belgian territory by a professional. There are currently no countries classified as very high-risk zones.

    Carriers are obliged to check whether passengers are able to submit a vaccination, test or recovery certificate before boarding the organised transport. If they do not have the required document, the carrier is obliged to refuse boarding.

    In terms of the exception regarding transit and onward travel, airlines must verify that the person has a confirmed airline ticket for immediate onward travel and that the person has the required certificate if needed for the final destination. Anyone not meeting these conditions remains under the responsibility of the airline who must then ensure the return of the passenger to the country of departure.

    There is no exception for people who are unable to get tested in their country of origin if they are asymptomatic.

    Please note:

    The test certificate must be immediately available for inspection on paper or in electronic form.

    This document must be drawn up in Dutch, French, German, or English:

    • A negative test result.
    • The date the sample was collected must be clearly indicated.
    • It concerns an approved PCR test for SARS-CoV-2 carried out in an official laboratory no more than 72 hours prior to arrival on Belgian territory, a Rapid Antigen Test (RAT) with a negative result carried out by a professional no more than 36 hours before arrival on Belgian territory.

    The test result must be checked before the carrier leaves the country of departure: if the document is not available, the passenger will not be admitted.

    For people arriving in Belgium with their own vehicle, checks may be carried out at the borders.

    The following people are not required to have a vaccination, test or recovery certificate (unless it replaces an Essential Travel Certificate):

    • If they are travelling to Belgium for business purposes:

    • Transport workers or providers, including lorry drivers transporting goods for use within the territory and those merely in transit;

    • Mariners, tug crews, pilots and industrial staff working at the offshore wind farms;

    • Border Force Officers from the United Kingdom;

    • Frontier workers (a frontier worker is defined as a worker employed in one Member State and residing in another Member State to which the worker returns daily or at least once a week);

    • Border pupils who travel to Belgium in the context of compulsory education;

    • People travelling to Belgium in the context of cross-border co-parenting.

    • People transferred between Belgium and another EU Member State within the framework of the Regulation (EU) No 604/2013 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 26 June 2013 establishing the criteria and mechanisms for determining the Member State responsible for examining an application for international protection lodged in one of the Member States by a third-country national or a stateless person, as well as within the framework of bilateral agreements, when the necessary arrangements have been made in this respect between Belgium and the other EU Member State on a reciprocal basis.

    Please note: there are no exemptions in terms of the obligation to have a negative test result or an EU Digital COVID Certificate for people who, at any time during the past 14 days, have been on the territory of third countries classified as very high-risk. There are currently no countries classified as very high-risk zones.

  • When and how should I fill in a Passenger Locator Form (PLF)?

    ALL travellers to Belgium, regardless of the means of transport chosen, must complete the Passenger Locator Form within 6 months of their scheduled arrival in Belgium.

    If you are travelling with a carrier, it is always advisable to complete the PLF form at least 6 hours before leaving for Belgium. The FPS Public Health cannot be held responsible for technical problems, in case the website is not accessible and a QR code is not available on time because of the late completion of the PLF form.

    Exceptions

    • People not travelling to Belgium via a carrier and who have been abroad for a maximum of 48 hours, or will remain in Belgium for a maximum of 48 hours, do not have to fill in a PLF.

    • The following categories of people not travelling via a carrier do not have to fill in a PLF:

    • Transport workers or providers, including lorry drivers transporting goods for use within the territory and those merely in transit;

    • Mariners, tug crews, pilots and industrial staff working at the offshore wind farms;

    • Border Force Officers from the United Kingdom;

    • Frontier workers (a frontier worker is defined as a worker employed in one Member State and residing in another Member State to which the worker returns daily or at least once a week);

    • Border pupils who travel to Belgium in the context of compulsory education;

    • Pupils, students and interns travelling to Belgium at least once a week as part of their cross-border studies or internship;

    • People travelling to Belgium in the context of cross-border co-parenting.

    Please note: these exemptions from completing the PLF do not apply to people who have been on the territory of third countries classified as a very high-risk zone at any time during the 14 days prior to their arrival in Belgium. People travelling from these countries must always complete a PLF. There are currently no countries classified as very high-risk zones.

    A separate form must be completed for each passenger aged 12 years and over. The details of children under the age of 12 must be filled in on the form of an accompanying adult, if this is the case. If children under the age of 12 are travelling alone, they must also fill in a form.

    It is mandatory to fill in the Passenger Locator Form completely and truthfully. Failure to complete this form may result in criminal prosecution, refusal of boarding by the carrier and refusal of entry into Belgian territory by the police. The form may be checked by the airport operator or the police upon arrival in Belgium.

    The PLF document must be completed electronically. The form can be found at: https://travel.info-coronavirus.be

    • After the passenger has submitted the form, he/she will receive a receipt with a QR code via e-mail. Where applicable, the passenger must show this to the carrier on departure and at the border check on arrival.
    • The electronic form contains an optional Coronavirus Infection Risk Self-Assessment Questionnaire. Based on the result, a text message will be sent with the measures to be taken. For further information on the test procedure see below under “Test”.

    As of 1 October 2021, the paper version of the PLF can no longer be used. From then on, the PLF must be completed electronically and a paper version of the PLF will no longer be valid. However, there is a ‘transition period’ until 14 October. In addition, there will also be special measures to support travellers:

    • To give everyone the opportunity to fill in the PLF electronically, it can be completed online as early as 180 days before your expected arrival in Belgium.
    • If you do not have access to the Internet or the necessary electronic equipment during your stay, you can ask a third party to help you fill in the electronic PLF in advance.
    • The carrier may provide traveller support for completing the electronic PLF or printing the QR code. This will also be provided in airport terminals.
    • After completing the electronic PLF, you will receive the completed e-PLF with a QR code by e-mail. You can also print out this electronic PLF with the QR code to submit it for verification.

    The PLF will take the last 14 days into account when determining quarantine.

    As of 1 July, the PLF takes into account whether or not a person has a vaccination, test or recovery certificate when determining whether to quarantine or get tested.

    If the information entered on the form changes within 14 days of arrival, you must report this by filling in a new e-PLF via https://travel.info-coronavirus.be/ with the complete and updated details.

    If the PLF has been falsified, an official report may be drawn up which will then be submitted to the public prosecutor.

    In the absence of this form or in case of false, misleading or incomplete information, entry into Belgian territory may be refused by the police. The form may be checked by the airport operator or the police upon arrival in Belgium.

  • Which travellers must quarantine?

    People returning from third countries or countries in the EU and the Schengen Area classified as red zones, who have been abroad for more than 48 hours and who will stay in Belgium for more than 48 hours, are considered “high-risk contacts”. This means that they must quarantine.

    A. Upon return from a red zone or a third country classified as a red zone, you must quarantine for 10 days and get tested prior to travelling ( non-residents) or on day 1 (only residents in Belgium) and day 7 (residents and non-residents). The quarantine period may end after a negative test result of the second test performed on day 7.

    B. When returning from a red zone in the European Union or Schengen Area, it is mandatory to get tested with a PCR test on day 1 or 2 and to stay in quarantine until the negative result of the test is known. They must get tested on day 7, without having to quarantine after a negative test result on day 1 or 2.

    Exception: travellers who can prove that they have been fully vaccinated with a vaccination certificate must either get tested on day 1 and remain in quarantine until the result of the test is known and on day 7, without having to quarantine after a negative test result on day 1 or 2 (situation A) or not get tested nor quarantine (situation B), except when travellers have been on the territory of very high-risk countries any time during the 14 days prior to their arrival in Belgium.

    Travellers coming from a third country classified as a very high-risk zone must quarantine for 10 days. There are currently no countries classified as very high-risk zones.

    The PLF will take the last 14 days into account when determining quarantine, also when the zone changes colour.

    A person who was diagnosed with COVID-19 with a positive PCR test less than 3 months ago and has now been identified as a high-risk contacts of a COVID-19 case (or a person returning from a red zone) is likely to be temporarily protected by immunity. Currently, the regulations provide for an exemption from quarantine if the diagnosis was made less than 2 months ago.

    Children under the age of 12 should not get tested, but they must respect quarantine if the accompanying adult must quarantine.

    For people who are considered to be ‘high-risk contacts’, the quarantine period starts on the day they leave the third country classified as a red zone, provided that it is clearly and objectively specified on the PLF. If not, quarantine will commence as soon as the traveller arrives in Belgium, after a stay in a third country classified as a red zone, unless stipulated otherwise by the treating physician/decree of the federated entities.

    This will be checked by the police. Those who do not abide by the rules risk a fine of EUR 250 or more in the case of repeat offenders.

    The specification of the applicable rules for each community/region can be found here:

    For short-stay travel (less than 48 hours) in Belgium or abroad, please tick the relevant box on the Passenger Locator Form and no text message will be sent. In this case, quarantine is not mandatory. This does not apply to travellers returning from a third country classified as a very high-risk zone. There are currently no countries classified as very high-risk zones.

    Belgians and Belgian residents identified abroad as a confirmed case or at high risk must always complete their isolation and quarantine before returning and according to the rules of the host country.

    To request an exemption, travellers must contact the Belgian health authorities and diplomatic services. An exemption will only be considered in cases of absolute necessity and on an exceptional basis.

  • What does 'quarantine' mean?

    Quarantine means preventive isolation. During the quarantine period, you must remain at one single address, which must be provided in advance in the Passenger Locator Form. This can be a private address (with family or with friends), or another place to stay, such as a hotel. If the person falls ill, all members of the same household are close contacts.

    During this period, contact with other people, including people in the same house, must be completely avoided (always keep a distance of 1.5 m).

    • Towels, bed linen and eating or drinking utensils should not be shared with the other members of the same household and, if possible, the person should use a separate toilet and bathroom.
    • Quarantine in an environment with people at increased risk of severe illness from COVID-19 is not recommended (e.g. people older than 65, people with a serious underlying medical condition such as severe heart, lung or kidney disease, people with decreased immunity).
    • No visits are allowed.
    • Working and going to school is not allowed, with the exclusion of the exceptions mentioned below. Teleworking is permitted.
    • For all journeys (from the time of arrival in Belgium) the use of public transport must be avoided.
    • The health situation must be closely monitored. If symptoms of COVID-19 appear, the local GP must be contacted immediately. If symptoms of COVID-19 appear, you must self-isolate and contact your local GP immediately.
    • It is mandatory to be reachable and cooperate with the health authorities throughout the quarantine period.
    • Going outside is only allowed for the following essential activities that cannot be postponed until after the quarantine period has ended and provided that particular attention is paid to hygiene measures, social distancing and wearing a (fabric) face mask:
      • Travel related to urgent medical care and access to medicines;
      • Travel to buy basic necessities, such as food, but only if no one else can provide them and by exception;
      • Travel for urgent legal/financial matters and parental authority, subject to proof;
      • Travel to provide urgent and necessary care for farm animals, if no one else can provide it;
      • Travel in the context of funerals.

    Quarantine versus isolation: the difference

    If you test positive and/or are ill, you must self-isolate for a period of at least 10 days. During isolation period, you should avoid contact with other people, including those living in the same house.

    The obligation of self-isolation is waived when the following 3 conditions are met:

    • not earlier than 10 days after the onset of symptoms and
    • at least 3 days without a temperature and
    • an improvement of respiratory symptoms.

    Additional measures to be taken in case of self-isolation:

    • Wear a face mask at home to protect your housemates
    • Stay as much as possible in a well-ventilated separate room to control the spread of the virus
    • Ask others for help with your shopping
    • You do not have to wait to be contacted by the call centre for contact tracing, instead you can contact them yourself.
  • Which travellers should get tested in Belgium?

    ####From an EU country or the Schengen Area

    Residents in Belgium who return from a red zone and have stayed there for more than 48 hours must get tested on day 1 of their return to Belgium and quarantine until the result of the test is known. If you return from a red zone, you must also be tested on day 7, without having to quarantine after a negative test result on day 1 or 2. If the red zone is also considered to be a very high-risk zone, a test is also mandatory on day 7 after arriving in Belgium. There are currently no countries classified as very high-risk zones.

    Non-residents in Belgium who come from a red zone and have stayed there for more than 48 hours must get tested within 72 hours of arrival in Belgium, as mentioned above. If you return from a red zone, you must also be tested on day 7, without having to quarantine after a negative test result on day 1 or 2. If the red zone is also classified as a very high-risk zone, a test is also mandatory on day 7 after arriving in Belgium. There are currently no countries classified as very high-risk zones.

    Exceptions

    • Travellers who can prove that they have been fully vaccinated with a vaccination certificate, or who have a recovery certificate, do not need to get tested;

    • Travellers who are not coming to Belgium via a carrier and who have been abroad for a maximum of 48 hours or who will be staying in Belgium for a maximum of 48 hours, do not need to fill in a PLF and therefore do not need to get tested;

    • The following categories of people do not have to fill in a PLF if they are not travelling via a carrier:

    • Transport workers or providers, including lorry drivers transporting goods for use within the territory and those merely in transit;

    • Mariners, tug crews, pilots and industrial staff working at the offshore wind farms;

    • Frontier workers (a frontier worker is defined as a worker employed in one Member State and residing in another Member State to which the worker returns daily or at least once a week);

    • Border pupils who travel to Belgium in the context of compulsory education;

    • People travelling to Belgium in the context of cross-border co-parenting.

    • People transferred between Belgium and another EU Member State within the framework of the Regulation (EU) No 604/2013 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 26 June 2013 establishing the criteria and mechanisms for determining the Member State responsible for examining an application for international protection lodged in one of the Member States by a third-country national or a stateless person, as well as within the framework of bilateral agreements, when the necessary arrangements have been made in this respect between Belgium and the other EU Member State on a reciprocal basis.

    They will receive a text message upon their return with which they can register at a test centre where a PCR test can be taken. To this end, Belgian residents with a valid National Register Number or BIS number can make an appointment via the appointment tool which can be found at mijngezondheid.belgie.be.

    • If the test is positive, the high-risk contact must isolate for at least 10 days from the day the test was taken.
    • If the test result prior to travelling is negative, quarantine is not necessary. Or if the test result on day 1 is negative after returning to Belgium, quarantine may be ended. However, people travelling from a “very high-risk zone” still have to get tested on day 7 after their return or arrival in Belgium. There are currently no countries classified as very high-risk zones.

    Children under the age of 12 should not get tested, but they must respect quarantine.

    ####From a third country classified as a red zone

    People who are nationals of or have their main residence in an EU country or the Schengen Area and who are returning from a third country classified as a red zone and who have stayed there for more than 48 hours must get tested on day 1 (residents in Belgium), or have a test certificate (non-residents in Belgium), and on day 7 of quarantine (residents and non-residents in Belgium).

    People who are not nationals of or do not have their main residence in an EU country or the Schengen Area and who are arriving from a third country classified as a red zone and who have stayed there for more than 48 hours must have a test certificate as mentioned above and get tested on day 7 of quarantine.

    Exceptions

    • Travellers who are fully vaccinated and can prove this with a recognised vaccination certificate must get tested on day 1 and remain in quarantine until the test result is known. If you return from a red zone, you must also be tested on day 7, without having to quarantine after a negative test result on day 1 , except when travellers have been on the territory of a third country classified as a very high-risk zone during the 14 days prior to their arrival in Belgium. There are currently no countries classified as very high-risk zones.

    • Travellers who are not coming to Belgium via a carrier, and who have been abroad for a maximum of 48 hours or who will be staying in Belgium for a maximum of 48 hours, do not have to fill in a PLF document and therefore do not have to get tested, except for people who have been on the territory of a third country classified as a very high-risk zone at any time during the 14 days prior to their arrival in Belgium. There are currently no countries classified as very high-risk zones.

    • The following categories of people not travelling via a carrier do not have to fill in a PLF and, therefore, do not have to get tested:

    • Transport workers or providers, including lorry drivers transporting goods for use within the territory and those merely in transit;

    • Mariners, tug crews, pilots and industrial staff working at the offshore wind farms;

    • Border Force Officers from the United Kingdom;

    • Frontier workers (a frontier worker is defined as a worker employed in one Member State and residing in another Member State to which the worker returns daily or at least once a week);

    • Border pupils who travel to Belgium in the context of compulsory education;

    • People travelling to Belgium in the context of cross-border co-parenting.

    Travellers arriving from a third country classified as a very high-risk zone must get tested on day 1 (only for residents in Belgium) and on day 7 of quarantine (residents and non-residents). There are currently no countries classified as very high-risk zones.

    They will receive a text message upon their return with which they can register at a test centre where a PCR test can be taken. To this end, Belgian residents with a valid National Register Number or BIS number can make an appointment via the appointment tool which can be found at mijngezondheid.belgie.be.

    • If the test is positive, the high-risk contact must isolate for at least 10 days from the day the test was taken.
    • If a resident tests negative on day 1, they will receive a new invitation via text message on day 5 in order to get tested again on day 7.
    • If the test is negative on day 7, the high-risk contact can end quarantine. Children under the age of 12 should not get tested, but they must respect quarantine.

    If no test is taken (e.g. child under the age of 12), or if the test result is not available in time, asymptomatic travellers can end quarantine after 10 days, commencing the last day in the high-risk area.

  • Exemptions from testing and quarantine upon arrival in Belgium
    Despite the fact that in certain circumstances it is possible to obtain an exemption from quarantine or testing, the intention should always be to respect the general rules on testing and quarantine as much as possible.
  • What happens if the travel advice is ignored? What about travel insurance if these people fall ill while travelling?
    The general terms and conditions of a specific travel insurance policy determine the cases in which the travel insurance intervenes. If you ignore the advice not to travel and fall ill at your holiday destination, the general terms and conditions of your travel insurance policy will stipulate whether there will be cover for medical and/or repatriation costs. In the majority of the cases, there will be no cover. With regard to hospitalisation insurance, the general terms and conditions will also specify the conditions under which the hospitalisation insurer intervenes abroad.

Didn’t find an answer to your question?

Consult the information available on the websites of the competent authorities or call 0800 14 689.