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Exemptions from testing and quarantine

General exemptions

In exceptional cases, you do not have get tested and/or quarantine. For certain essential journeys, you are allowed outside during your quarantine period.

Quarantine exemptions

General

Going outside is only permitted 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 (surgical) 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 / cremations.

After a stay abroad

Read more about quarantine after staying abroad.

Testing exemptions

General

  • People who cannot have a sample taken for medical reasons and who are able to provide proof of this (medical certificate);
  • People who attend a test centre but for whom the doctor responsible for administering the test decides that a test cannot be administered.

After a stay abroad

Read more about quarantine after staying abroad.

People who are completely exempt from quarantine and testing after staying abroad

Some people are completely exempt from quarantine or testing after returning/arriving from a dark red or grey zone abroad for essential or professional reasons.

  • Border residents or frontier workers travelling in this capacity.
  • Transport staff responsible for the transport of goods and other transport personnel travelling when performing their duties;
  • Mariners, tug crews, pilots and industrial staff working at offshore wind farms (provided that the protocols drawn up to reduce the risk of contamination are strictly observed);
  • People travelling in the context of cross-border co-parenting;
  • Pupils, students and interns who travel abroad on a daily or weekly basis as part of their studies or a cross-border internship;
  • Border pupils travelling to and from school in the context of compulsory education or higher and adult education;
  • Border Force Officers from the United Kingdom.
  • Diplomats

For persons who were at any time during the last 14 days in the territory of countries classified as very high risk, there are no exceptions with regard to having a negative test result or an EU Digital COVID Certificate.

If you are returning from a very high-risk country, there are no exceptions to testing or quarantine.

List of people who are partially exempt from quarantine

Only after staying abroad in a country classified as very high risk

Some people are partially exempt from quarantine after returning/arriving from a country classified as very high risk for essential or professional reasons.

The quarantine exemption only applies to:

  • either essential travel to Belgium;
  • or the performance of professional activities in Belgium after returning from a very high risk zone for essential or professional reasons.

For the remainder of the time (e.g. leisure time, weekends, holidays and evenings) the person concerned must remain in quarantine.

  • Transport staff responsible for the transport of goods and other transport personnel travelling when performing their duties;
  • Mariners, tug crews, pilots and industrial staff working at offshore wind farms (provided that the protocols drawn up to reduce the risk of contamination are strictly observed);
  • People travelling in the context of cross-border co-parenting;
  • Border Force Officers from the United Kingdom.
  • Diplomats

Please note: these people must fulfil the following conditions:

  • in a general sense, they may have no symptoms;
  • they may not be a high-risk contact of someone who has been diagnosed with COVID-19 living under the same roof;
  • they may not have tested positive for COVID-19;
  • they must avoid close contact with other people;
  • they must not use public transport where possible;
  • they are unable to telework;
  • they must respect the social distancing rules and always wear a (surgical) face mask properly at work;
  • they must limit their contact with other employees: in practice, this means separate entrances and exits as much as possible, separate changing rooms and separate break and eating areas.

48-h rule

  • People entering Belgium who have been in a red zone for a maximum of 48 hours or who will be in Belgium for a maximum of 48 hours, unless the person has been in a high-risk country (VOC country) during the 14 days prior to arrival in Belgium.

More information

The decrees of the Communities and Regions on quarantine and testing can be found here: