Current Entry Requirements for Travellers Planning to Enter Belgium
Even amid the ongoing pandemic, authorities in Belgium have decided to ease their entry requirements, following the example of other European countries’ governments.
Last month, the Council of the European Union unfolded some recommendations, which among others, included the proposal to focus more on the traveller’s situation instead of focusing on the epidemiological situation in their country of departure.
Thus, previously Belgium abolished the colour code system, which categorised other countries into green, orange and red groups, taking into account the infection rate in them, and from February 18, it started to apply entry rules taking into account the travellers’ vaccination or recovery status.
Such a decision was confirmed through a statement published by authorities in Belgium, 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 noted.
Entry Rules for Vaccinated Citizens from other countries
Despite the rapid spread of the Coronavirus’ Omicron variant, authorities in Belgium have decided to ease their entry requirements for internationals.
Such a decision has been taken in order to prevent further damages caused by the virus and its new strains.
The abolishment of the coded colour system in Belgium means that arrivals from other countries, including the EU and third countries, are obliged to present a valid document that proves they have completed their immunisation process against the virus, have taken a COVID-19 test or recovered from the virus.
The easing of entry requirements to Belgium was also confirmed by the Federal Minister of Health, Frank Vandenbroucke.
In addition, authorities in Belgium have also clarified that they would no longer make differences between travellers from EU countries planning to enter Belgium and those coming from third countries.
This means that arrivals from all other countries, including the United Kingdom and the United States, will be subject to milder entry rules when planning to travel to the Western European country.
In this regard, the Minister of Health highlighted the benefits for tourists from countries that are not part of the European Union.
“This is important for people who come from the United States, the United Kingdom, and Japan,” Vandenbroucke pointed out.
Are Unvaccinated Travellers Permitted to Enter Belgium?
Travellers who have not completed their immunisation process against the virus are not subject to facilitated entry rules when planning to travel to Belgium. In addition, those who need to enter the country for a special reason will be obliged to take a COVID-19 test upon their entry.
Authorities in Belgium accept the negative result of the COVID-19 antigen test, not older than 24 hours before arrival. Following the recommendation of the Commission of the European Union, authorities in Belgium also shortened the validity of the vaccination certificates. Such a decision means that authorities in Belgium recognise vaccination passes that show the holder has been vaccinated against the virus within the last 270 days or nine months.
At the same time, all persons who have taken the booster dose have unlimited validity of their vaccination certificates.
Belgium Also Facilitated COVID-19 National Rules
From February 18, authorities in Belgium also eased some of the national COVID-19 restrictions imposed to contain the further spread of the virus.
The Consultation Committee abolished the closing hours’ rules, meaning that the catering industry, including restaurants and bars, no longer are subject to limitations to their operating hours.
Besides, the nightlife has also opened again while indoor and outdoor events are also permitted. In addition, working from home is no longer compulsory.
“From February 18 in the morning, the corona barometer will switch to code orange. That has been decided by the Consultation Committee. For example, the closing time in the catering industry will disappear, and the nightlife can open again. All indoor and outdoor public events are also allowed. Teleworking is no longer mandatory but is still recommended,” the statement of the Belgian authorities reads.
According to authorities in Belgium, for indoor events, a total of 70 per cent of the venue’s capacity can be used, while for all other events, 80 per cent of a venue’s capacity can be used.
The country’s government also confirmed that children under age 12 would no longer be obliged to wear face masks.