Belgium to Relax Entry Rules Based on Travellers’ Vaccination & Recovery Status
The Belgian authorities have announced that the country will soon relax its travel rules for incoming travellers.
Starting from this Friday, February 18, Belgium will no longer apply entry rules based on the country of origin a person is travelling from. Instead, rules will be applied based on individual bases, focusing on travellers’ vaccination and recovery status, SchengenVisaInfo.com reports.
“The colour code of the country of origin is no longer taken into account for incoming travellers. Persons who do not have their main residence in Belgium and who travel to our country from EU/Schengen countries or third countries, must from now on have a valid vaccination, test or recovery certificate,” the statement of the Belgian authorities reads.
This means that all travellers who reach Belgium will still be required to present a valid certificate that indicates that the holder has been vaccinated, tested, or recovered from the virus.
The relaxation of entry rules to Belgium was also announced by the Federal Minister of Health, Frank Vandenbroucke. Last week, he said that Belgium would no longer make a differentiation between persons travelling from a European Union country and those travelling from third countries.
Such a statement suggests that except for travellers from the EU/Schengen Area, travellers from third countries, including the United States and the United Kingdom, will also be permitted entry to the country under facilitated entry rules.
Nonetheless, the authorities have emphasised that third-country travellers who have not been vaccinated are still not permitted entry for travel purposes. Unvaccinated non-EU travellers can enter only for essential purposes provided that they present a negative test result or a recovery certificate upon entry.
Travellers who plan on reaching Belgium should note that, similar to the other EU countries, Belgium has also shortened the validity of vaccination certificates. In line with the EU Commission’s recommendation, Belgium recognises only vaccination passes that prove that the holder has completed primary vaccination within the last 270 days (nine months).
On the other hand, it has been explained that those who have received an additional vaccine dose, also known as a booster shot, have unlimited validity.
Previously, the Belgian authorities announced that the country would also lift some of its national Coronavirus restrictions. Starting from February 18, the country will no longer have closing hours, meaning that the catering industry will not have limitations on its operating hours.