10 tips for enjoying a safe summer

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 municipalities will also have extra rules in place. Check the website of your city or municipality. How are these level determined? More information here

Journeys

In Belgium

  • You are allowed to move around freely.
  • If you are using public transport (bus, tram or train) and are you older than 12 years of age, wear a face mask covering your mouth and nose.

Travelling abroad

Do you have a question about journeys ?

Work

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. This is mandatory.
  • Do you own a shop? Read the guide by the FPS Economy.
  • Markets are being organized.
    • You can visit the market in groups of eight. Children up to and including 12 years old should not be taken into account. Keep a distance of 1,5 meters from other groups.
    • You can eat and drink at the market.
  • Night shops are open until 1 AM.
  • Hairdressers and other non-medical contact professions, such as pedicure and beauty salons, are open.

Bars and restaurants

  • Cafés and restaurants are open from 5 AM until 1 AM.
    • You are allowed at the table in groups of maximum 8 people or with the people you live with. Children up to and including 12 years old should not be taken into account.
    • You must remain seated at the table. You do not need to wear a face mask.
    • If you need to go to the toilet or pay the bill, make sure to wear a face mask.
    • You can also play sports in cafés, for example billiards. In that case you need to wear a face mask.
    • Do you own a pub or restaurant? Read the guide by the FPS Economy.

Do you have a question about employment?

Social contact

  • Are you inviting someone over?
    • You are allowed to invite 8 people indoors simultaneously.
    • Children up to and including 12 years old do not need to be taken into account.
    • You can invite more people in your garden.

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.
    • This is allowed for maximum 2000 people indoors or 2500 people outdoors.
    • You may attend an event in groups of eight or with the people you live with. Children up to and including 12 years old do not need to be taken into account. Keep a 1,5 meters distance from other groups.
  • Organized activities (for example a sports club or organization) are allowed for groups of maximum 100 people.
    • A trainer or coach must always be present.
    • You need to stay as much as possible in groups of eight or with the people you live with. Children up to and including 12 years old do not need to be taken into account.
    • If you cannot conduct the activity in groups of 8 (e.g. football match), then you can form larger groups.
  • What remains closed?
    • Discos
    • Dance clubs

Sport

  • Are you practicing sport in a club or organization?
    • This is allowed for groups of maximum 100 people.
    • You need to stay as much as possible in groups of eight or with the people you live with. Children up to and including 12 years old do not need to be taken into account.
    • If you cannot conduct the activity in groups of 8 (e.g. football match), then you can form larger groups.
    • A trainer or coach must always be present.

Religion

  • Worship services can be organized.
    • This is allowed indoors for maximum 200 people or outdoors for maximum 400 people.
    • Children up until and including 12 years old and the minister of worship (for example a pastor or imam) do not need to be taken into account.
    • You must stay in groups of eight or with the people you live with. Children up to and including 12 years old do not need to be taken into account.

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 19 July 2021 has decided to keep the existing ‘Summer Plan’, but has made a few changes given that, among others, the more contagious Delta variant is now also dominant in our country. The measures will follow a phased approach.

    Respecting the six golden rules remains vital. As a reminder, the six golden rules are as follows:

    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 Ministerial Order. Anyone unable to respect this safety distance must, in principle, wear a face mask;
    5. it is strongly recommended that everyone limit the number of close contacts. “Close contact” implies contact which lasts longer than 15 minutes, without respecting social distancing and without wearing a face mask;
    6. the number of people participating in certain activities must remain limited (according to the provisions of the Ministerial Decree).

    It is also advisable to apply the ‘ten tips for enjoying a safe summer’ and to remain cautious in terms of social contacts:

    • Get vaccinated
    • Wash your hands regularly
    • Do you feel ill or do you have symptoms? Stay home and contact your GP
    • Test yourself
    • Go outside
    • Smaller is better. A group of five is safer than a group of fifty
    • Is everyone in your group vaccinated? Then you can take off your masks
    • Ventilate indoor areas
    • Maintain a safe distance
    • Keep it safe while travelling, too
  • What does the declaration of a federal phase mean for the local authorities?

    A federal phase means that the governors and mayors must apply the general measures.

    Nevertheless, the Ministerial Order allows the local authorities to take additional measures imposed by the health situation, subject to the following conditions:

    1. If the competent local authorities decide to take preventive measures, they will do so in consultation with the competent authorities of the federated entities. The mayor will consult with the governor on this matter.
    2. If the mayor or the governor is informed by the health authority of the federated entity concerned of a local resurgence of the epidemic within their territory, or if they identify this themselves:
    • The mayor or governor must take the additional measures required by the situation;
    • The mayor must immediately inform the governor and the competent authorities of the federated entities of the additional measures taken at municipal level;
    • If the planned measures have an impact on federal resources or on neighbouring municipalities or at national level, consultation is required in accordance with the structures provided for in the Royal Decree of 22 May 2019 on local emergency planning.

    The mayor is responsible for oral and visual communication of the specific measures taken on the territory of their 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. The Minister of the Interior shall provide instructions regarding coordination.

  • 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 by the Ministerial Order), sanctions are possible under Article 187 of the law on Civil Security of 15 May 2007, among others. Local authorities remain competent for public order in accordance with article 135 §2 of the new municipal law, without prejudice to the measures or the spirit of the measures taken at a higher level. 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 Ministerial Order 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 Ministerial Order during pilot projects. The pilot projects will be organised in accordance with the protocol defined by the competent ministers and the Federal Minister of Public Health. The protocol will contain 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 physical contact between people, large crowds should be avoided in public spaces and on public transport. Teleworking is therefore still highly recommended.
  • What are the general principles for the economy?
    • Teleworking is strongly recommended in all companies, associations and services, whatever their size, for all staff members whose position allows them to do so. Teleworking is performed in accordance with the existing collective labour agreements.
    • Companies, associations and services, as referred to in the first paragraph, shall take appropriate and timely preventive measures in order to guarantee the rules of social distancing and to provide a maximum level of protection.
    • 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.
  • 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 eleven general minimum rules (which will be reduced to eight as of 30 July 2021) set out in the Ministerial Order:

    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 following three obligations (a,b,c,) no longer apply as of 30 July 2021:

    • a. One customer is allowed per 10 m2 of accessible floor space to the public;
    • b. Four customers are allowed simultaneously if the accessible floor space is less than 40 m2;
    • c. If the accessible floor space to the public exceeds 400 m², adequate access control must be provided. For more information, please refer to the question relating to access controls;
    1. In companies or associations, it is mandatory to cover mouth and nose with a face mask in those areas that are accessible to the public and, if the rules of social distancing cannot be complied with due to the nature of the activity performed, wearing other personal protective equipment is highly recommended (e.g. a face shield);
    2. The activity must be organised in such a way that the social distancing rules can be respected, also with regard to people waiting outside the establishment;
    3. The company or association must provide staff and customers with the means to ensure the necessary hand hygiene;
    4. The company or association must take the appropriate hygiene measures to regularly disinfect the establishment and the material used;
    5. The company or association must ensure good ventilation;
    6. A contact person must be designated and announced so that customers and staff can report a possible coronavirus infection, in order to facilitate contact tracing;
    7. 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.

  • Shopping centres

    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;

    The following two obligations no longer apply as of 30 July 2021:

    • one visitor per 10 m²;
    • adequate access control must be provided. See the additional question on access controls.
  • Who should wear a face mask?
    Everyone from the age of 13 (customers, staff, etc.) is obliged to wear a face mask or any other fabric alternative in shopping streets, shops and shopping centres, and any private or public place with significant footfall. If this is not possible for medical reasons, a face shield can be worn. The mayors are responsible for determining the shopping streets and the frequently visited private and public spaces in their municipality. These spaces will be clearly defined by a notice specifying the times during which the obligation applies.
  • 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.

    Where the competent local authority considers that the requirements set out above cannot be met, it shall defer or suspend the reopening or opening of non-essential companies and associations in all or part of its territory.

  • 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?
    Night shops are defined as: any establishment whose net sales area does not exceed 150 m², which does not carry out any activities other than the sale of general food and household goods and which has an obvious and permanent “Night shop” sign. Night shops may be open between their usual opening hours and 1am. Petrol stations with in-house shops are not considered as night shops and therefore do not have to close at 1pm.
  • Are trade fairs and exhibitions being organised?
    Trade fairs and exhibitions are allowed and must adhere to the minimum rules as described above and must respect the applicable protocol.
  • 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. It is mandatory for market and fairground vendors, their staff and their customers to wear a face mask or any other fabric alternative in the following situations:
    • when it is impossible to ensure compliance with social distancing rules;
    • when it is determined by the local authority and clearly defined by a notice specifying the times during which the obligation applies;
    • always at markets, including year markets, bric-a-brac and flea markets and funfairs that host more than 5,000 people at any one time;
    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 (e.g. maximum eight people per table and table seating only);
    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 visitors or authorised groups respect the applicable social distancing measures in the attraction;
    5. the applicable rules regarding sanitary measures, such as disinfecting hands before entering the attraction, wearing a face mask and social distancing must be clearly signposted at the stand or attraction.

    Visitors are allowed in groups of up to eight people, not including children up to the age of 12. Groups of more than eight people are allowed as long as they belong to the same household.

  • Are food trucks still allowed to sell food and drinks?

    Takeaways are allowed until 1am. Hospitality establishments as well as food trucks are expected to ensure crowd control and manage queues at all times. Subject to permission from the local authority, a food truck can also set up a terrace in public spaces. In this case, they must respect the conditions laid down for open terraces for catering establishments, which are listed in the Catering section of this FAQ.

    For food trucks located at a market, both takeaways and consumption on the spot are allowed. Consumption on the spot is allowed provided that the catering rules are respected.

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

    Professional caterers can sell and deliver takeaway meals and drinks until 1am.

    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 organise everything in such a way that the social distancing rules can be respected, also with regard to people waiting outside the establishment;
    • 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;
    • Public areas, including terraces in public areas, are organised in accordance with the regulations laid down by the local authorities;
    • the tables must be positioned in such a way that a distance of at least 1.5 meters between dinner parties is guaranteed. This does not apply to an open terrace provided that the tables are separated by a plexiglass wall or an equivalent alternative with a minimum height of 1.8 meters;
    • a maximum of eight people per table is allowed, children up to the age of 12 not included. An entire household can share a table, regardless of size;
    • only seats at tables are allowed;
    • Each person must remain at their own table, except for self-service at a buffet or for bar service in a sole-proprietor business or for pub games and gambling;
    • every customer, with the exception of children up to the age of 12, is obliged to cover their mouth and nose with a face mask or any alternative in fabric, except when sitting at their own table. When it is not possible to wear a face mask or any fabric alternative due to medical reasons, a face shield can be worn;
    • wearing a face mask or a fabric alternative is mandatory for all staff;
    • buffets are allowed;
    • no bar service is allowed, with the exception of sole-proprietor businesses;
    • the opening hours are limited from 5am to 1am.
    • if it concerns an open terrace, at least one complete side of the terrace must be open at all times and sufficient ventilation must be ensured;
    • unless it is an open terrace, the noise level must not exceed 80 decibels.

    Unless it is an open terrace, the use of an air quality meter (CO2) is mandatory in eating and drinking establishments of the hospitality sector and must be visibly installed in each separate room that is used for the consumption food and drinks. The indoor air quality guideline is 900 ppm CO2. Between 900 ppm and 1200 ppm, the operator must have an action plan to ensure compensatory air quality or air purification measures. Above 1200 ppm, the facility, or any part of it, should be closed immediately.

    The above-mentioned rules do not apply to catering activities delivered at home nor to catering activities at mass events, with the exception of the restriction on opening hours.

    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. In the case of a self-service buffet, particular attention must be paid to hand hygiene (customers must disinfect their hands before serving themselves). In addition, it is compulsory to wear a face mask as soon as the customer stands up, and care must be taken not to create a crowd at the buffet. Customers should keep their distance when queuing at the buffet. The same logic applies when customers go to (beverage) vending machines, refrigerators, etc.
  • What is meant by an 'open terrace'?

    An ‘open terrace’ is considered to be: a part of an establishment belonging to the catering industry or a professional catering company located outside its indoor area, where the open air can circulate freely, where seating is provided and where drinks and food are offered for immediate consumption. In order to ensure sufficient ventilation, at least one complete side of the terrace must be open at all times. The open side may not be partially closed, e.g. with a wind screen or sun protection system. The following, for example, are also considered to be open terraces: conservatories with sliding windows, a walled terrace of a catering establishment located in the open air and a beach bar. This must involve an area of the catering establishment located outside its indoor area.

    On the other hand, terraces of catering establishments located in a shopping centre, for example, are not considered to be open terraces since they do not have access to the open air.

  • Are the canteens (and their terraces) of sports clubs and youth clubs allowed to be open?
    Establishments and their terraces may open. If they engage in professional catering activities, they must respect the conditions applicable to the catering sector.
  • 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 again, provided that a face mask is worn.
  • 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. Services at home have been re-admitted.

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 or any other fabric alternative"?
    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 no longer accepted as an alternative to face masks.
  • What are the recommendations for wearing face masks and gloves in public places?

    Everyone, with the exception of children up to the age of 12, is obliged to cover their mouth and nose with a face mask or any other fabric alternative in all situations where it is impossible to ensure compliance with the rules of social distancing. This last obligation does not apply to:

    • people living under the same roof;
    • children mixing up to the age of 12;
    • to people meeting each other inside the house or in a tourist accommodation;
    • between counsellors and their clients (people in need of counselling).
    • to individuals belonging to a group of up to eight people not including children up to the age of 12;
    • during mass events;
    • if this is impossible due to the nature of the activity.

    Within the framework of organised activities, supervisors and participants from the age of 13 must respect the distance of 1.5 m as much as possible.

    In addition, wearing a face mask is always compulsory in a number of places, regardless of the number of people present:

    • on public transport from entering 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 drivers 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;
    • the establishments and places where catering activities are permitted, both for customers and staff, unless whilst eating, drinking or sitting at a table;
    • in shops and shopping centres;
    • In shopping streets, at markets and funfairs and in any private or public area with significant footfall, as determined by the competent local authority and demarcated by a notice specifying the times at which the obligation applies;
    • at markets, including year markets, bric-a-brac and flea markets and funfairs that host more than 5,000 people at any one time;
    • in conference rooms, auditoriums, places of worship & reflection, libraries, game & multimedia libraries and museums;
    • 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;
    • during events, cultural and other performances, sports competitions, sports training sessions and conferences. When these are organised outdoors and when the public is required to remain seated, face masks may be removed as long as the person is seated;
    • during trade fairs including exhibitions;
    • in areas accessible to the public of establishments belonging to the cultural, festive, sports, recreational and event sectors;
    • during demonstrations.

    Face masks or any fabric alternative may be removed occasionally to eat and drink, and when wearing it is impossible due to the nature of the activity.

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

    People who are unable to wear a face mask, a fabric alternative 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 six golden rules for individual behaviour:

    1. respect hygiene measures;
    2. choose outdoor activities where possible;
    3. be considerate to vulnerable people;
    4. keep 1.5 metres distance;
    5. limit your close contacts;
    6. follow the rules concerning gatherings. 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 rules should be followed?

    It is necessary to set clear priorities for sample collection and laboratory analysis, which will serve public health and the containment of the epidemic in the best possible way. The priorities were identified at the Interministerial Conference on Public Health on 15 January 2021.

    All high-risk contacts have been tested via PCR since 23 November 2020.

    The following rules apply with regard to self-isolation and quarantine:

    1. Self-isolation period for people with a positive PCR test:
    • As from 29 January 2021, self-isolation shall be lifted for patients with a positive PCR test with symptoms no earlier than 10 days after onset of symptoms AND up to at least 3 days without fever AND with improvement of respiratory symptoms.
    • As from 29 January 2021, the 10-day self-isolation period starts from the date the sample was collected for people with a positive PCR test who have no symptoms.
    1. The period of quarantine for high-risk contacts is a minimum of 10 days. This quarantine period starts from the moment the high-risk contact took place. This quarantine period may however be reduced to a minimum of 7 days on condition of a negative PCR test result, where the test was taken, at the earliest, seven days after the last exposure.
    2. The quarantine period for people returning from a red zone or a very high-risk zone: Please refer to the “International” section of this FAQ.
  • 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, with the exception of night clubs and dance halls. The latter still remain closed, except for the organisation of activities that are permitted.

    All of the above-mentioned establishments that are open must comply with the following nine 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. a distance of 1.5 meters between each group of visitors must be ensured;
    3. in companies or associations, it is mandatory to cover mouth and nose with a face mask in those areas that are accessible to the public and, if the rules of social distancing cannot be complied with due to the nature of the activity performed, wearing other personal protective equipment is highly recommended (e.g. a face shield);
    4. establishments must organise everything in such a way that the social distancing rules can be respected, also with regard to people waiting outside the establishment;
    5. public areas, including terraces in public areas, are organised in accordance with the regulations laid down by the local authorities;
    6. the operator or organiser must provide staff and customers with the means to ensure the necessary hand hygiene;
    7. the operator or organiser must take the appropriate hygiene measures to regularly disinfect the establishment and the material used;
    8. the operator or organiser must ensure good ventilation;
    9. the opening hours are limited from 5am to 1am.

    People can visit these establishments in groups of up to eight people, not including children up to the age of 12, unless this is not possible due to the nature of the activity. Groups of more than eight people are allowed as long as they belong to the same household. People must remain in the same group during an activity. Groups are not allowed to mix during this time.

    The use of an air quality meter (CO2) is mandatory in fitness centres and must be installed in a place clearly visible to visitors. The indoor air quality guideline is 900 ppm CO2. Between 900 ppm and 1200 ppm, the operator must have an action plan to ensure compensatory air quality or air purification measures. If it exceeds the standard of 1200 ppm, the fitness centre must be closed immediately.

    In the enclosed communal areas of other establishments belonging to the sports sector, as well as in the enclosed areas of establishments belonging to the events sector, the use of an air quality meter (CO2) will also become compulsory as of 1 September. It must be installed in a place clearly visible to the visitor. The indoor air quality guideline is 900 ppm CO2. Above 900 ppm, the operator must have an action plan to ensure compensatory air quality or air purification measures.

  • What are the rules for social contact ?

    Each household may accommodate a maximum of eight people, not including children up to the age of 12, at the same time in their home or in a small tourist accommodation.

    Apart from the exceptions provided for in the Ministerial Order (events, sports training sessions, organised activities, etc.), a rule regarding the maximum number of people no longer applies. However, unless the nature of the activity makes it impossible (for example, during football training, certain youth or cultural activities), groups of up to eight people, not including children up to the age of 12, must be formed within the framework of the activities. People must remain in the same group during an activity. Groups are not allowed to mix during this time. Groups of more than eight people are allowed as long as they belong to the same household.

    In order to prevent the spread of the virus, it is important to respect the six golden rules in all social contacts.

    The social distancing rules continue to apply, except:

    • people living under the same roof;
    • children mixing up to the age of 12;
    • people meeting each other. Compliance with preventive measures such as maintaining a social distance, wearing face masks, hand hygiene and ventilation by opening windows and doors is still strongly recommended;
    • between counsellors and their clients (people in need of counselling).
    • people belonging to a group formed specifically for the authorised gatherings and activities;
    • if this is impossible due to the nature of the activity.
    • during mass events.

    Within the framework of organised activities, supervisors and participants from the age of 13 must respect the distance of 1.5 m as much as possible.

  • Are there any specific measures for public transport?

    Public transport users, with the exception of children up to the age of 12, are obliged to cover their mouths and noses by wearing a face mask or any other fabric alternative. This applies from the moment they enter the airport, station, at stops or on the platform, train or other means of transport organised by a public authority. If it is not possible to wear a face mask for medical reasons, a face shield can be worn.

    Public transport drivers 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. Passengers, with the exception of children up to the age of 12, must cover their mouth and nose by wearing a face mask or any other fabric alternative and, where possible, keep a distance of 1.5 metres. 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 mandatory to cover mouth and nose with a face mask if the social distancing measures cannot be respected.
  • 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 mandatory to wear a face mask to cover your nose and mouth, if the social distancing measures cannot be respected.
  • What about tourism?

    Travelling abroad for tourist purposes is strongly discouraged. For more details regarding this measure, 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.

    Each household is allowed to rent accommodation together or with a maximum of eight other people at the same time, not including children up to the age of 12. This only applies to small tourist accommodations that can accommodate a maximum of 15 people.

  • Organised activities

    It concerns activities organised by an organisation, in particular an association or a club, and which take place in the presence of an adult supervisor, trainer or monitor.

    All cultural, recreational, sports and youth activities in an organised context must comply with the following measures and applicable protocol:

    • They take place for one or more groups, not including guides, of up to:
    • 100 people until 29 July;
    • 200 people as of 30 July;
    • They must take place in the presence of an adult supervisor, trainer or coach;
    • They can take place with an overnight stay;
    • Participants must remain in the same group. Groups are not allowed to mix;
    • Each participant up to the age of 17 may be accompanied by one or several members of the same household.

    Where possible, supervisors and participants aged 13 or over must comply with the social distancing rules of 1.5 m between each person.

    The above-mentioned measures do not apply to educational activities of compulsory education such as breakfast and after-school clubs, homework clubs, youth welfare services or other types of special activities for vulnerable children or children with learning difficulties. These activities should always be organised in compliance with the educational protocols and other preventive measures.

    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 nine minimum rules listed above and the applicable protocol. The use of an air quality meter (CO2) is mandatory in fitness centres and must be installed in a place clearly visible to visitors. The indoor air quality guideline is 900 ppm CO2. Between 900 ppm and 1200 ppm, the operator must have an action plan to ensure compensatory air quality or air purification measures. If it exceeds the standard of 1200 ppm, the establishment must be closed immediately.

    In the enclosed communal areas of other establishments belonging to the sports sector, the use of an air quality meter (CO2) will also become compulsory as of 1 September. It must be installed in a place clearly visible to the visitor. The indoor air quality guideline is 900 ppm CO2. Above 900 ppm, the operator must have an action plan to ensure compensatory air quality or air purification measures.

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

    Each participant at a sports competition or training session up to the age of 17 may be accompanied by one or several members of the same household.

  • 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 nine minimum rules.

  • What are the rules for facilities (or parts of them) belonging to the cultural, festive and leisure sector ?

    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 nine minimum rules and applicable protocols must be adhered to.

    Night clubs and dance halls are closed to the public, except for the organisation of permitted activities. For cultural activities in an organised context (for example, rehearsals of amateur theatre companies, orchestras or music lessons in an academy), the above-mentioned rules for activities in an organised context apply.

  • Can general meetings or other meetings of clubs or associations, as well as co-owner meetings take place?

    As far as meetings of co-owners are concerned, the relevant regulations allow that they can take place in a digital or hybrid manner. In addition, some temporary measures are applicable whereby general meetings can be postponed or a more flexible written procedure can be applied.

    Meetings of clubs, associations and companies can also be held remotely (e.g. via videoconferencing).

    In addition, general meetings of co-owners as well as (general) meetings of clubs, associations or companies can take place physically, both indoors and out, with a maximum of 100 people and, as from 30 July 2021, with a maximum of 200 people. The safety instructions must be observed at all times.

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

    During sports competitions and sports training sessions, events, cultural and other performances or congresses, a maximum number of spectators is allowed:

    Indoors

    • Until 29 July 2021: a seated audience of up to 100% of the CIRM capacity and without exceeding 2,000 people, including children up to the age of 12;
    • As from 30 July 2021, a (seated or standing) audience of up to 100% of the CIRM capacity and without exceeding 3,000 people, including children up to the age of 12;

    Outdoors

    • Until 29 July 2021, a (seated or standing) audience of up 2,500 people, including children up to the age of 12;
    • As from 30 July 2021, a (seated or standing) audience of up 5,000 people, including children up to the age of 12.

    During these activities, the following minimum rules and the applicable protocol must be followed:

    1. operators must visibly inform visitors, employees and third parties in good time regarding the preventive measures in force;
    2. a distance of 1.5 meters between each group of spectators must be ensured;
    3. in companies or associations, it is mandatory to cover mouth and nose with a face mask in those areas that are accessible to the public and, if the rules of social distancing cannot be complied with due to the nature of the activity performed, wearing other personal protective equipment is highly recommended (e.g. a face shield);
    4. establishments must organise everything in such a way that the social distancing rules can be respected, also with regard to people waiting outside the establishment;
    5. public areas, including terraces in public areas, are organised in accordance with the regulations laid down by the local authorities;
    6. the operator or organiser must provide staff and customers with the means to ensure the necessary hand hygiene;
    7. the operator or organiser must take the appropriate hygiene measures to regularly disinfect the establishment and the material used;
    8. the operator or organiser must ensure good ventilation;
    9. the opening hours are limited from 5am to 1am.

    If catering activities are carried out during sports competitions and sports training sessions, events, cultural and other performances or conferences, the catering rules must be observed. However, the noise level of 80 decibels may be exceeded. Takeaway meals and drinks can also be sold.

    Visitors are allowed in groups of up to eight people, not including children up to the age of 12, unless this is not possible due to the nature of the activity. People must remain in the same group during an activity. Groups are not allowed to mix during this time. Groups of more than eight people are allowed as long as they belong to the same household.

    In the enclosed communal areas of establishments belonging to the sports sector, as well as in the enclosed areas of establishments belonging to the events sector, the use of an air quality meter (CO2) will become compulsory as of 1 September. It must be installed in a place clearly visible to the visitor. The indoor air quality guideline is 900 ppm CO2. Above 900 ppm, the operator must have an action plan to ensure compensatory air quality or air purification measures.

    The above-mentioned activities must be organised with prior permission of the competent local authority. Before submitting the application, the organiser must fill in the online COVID Event Risk Model (CERM) tool and, if applicable, the operator must fill in the COVID Infrastructure Risk Model (CIRM) (www.covideventriskmodel.be) and attach the complete obtained certificate to the application file for the competent municipal authority. No permission from the competent local authority nor a CIRM/CERM is required if there are less than 100 people indoors or less than 200 people outdoors.

    When granting permission, the competent local authority is not obliged to use the CIRM/CERM provided that the audience consists of less than 100 people indoors or less than 200 people outdoors. From 1 September, these numbers will be increased to 200 people indoors and 400 people outdoors.

    It is permitted to compartmentalise the public present in the sports infrastructure during sports competitions, provided that such competitions are organised outdoors. However, this is only possible provided that the public present in the different compartments is not able to mix before, during and after the match. To this end, each compartment will have its own entrance and exit and sanitary infrastructure. The capacity of all compartments together may not exceed one third of the total capacity of the sports infrastructure.

    From 1 September 2021, the compartmentalisation of the audience present during a sports competition in a sports infrastructure will also be allowed indoors. From then on, compartmentalisation is also allowed during events, cultural and other performances, sports training and conferences, but only if these are organised outdoors in a sports infrastructure. The conditions for the compartmentalisation of the audience remain the same.

    In addition, the Consultative Committee has decided that pilot projects may take place with the aim to establish, under practical and scientific guidance, how the various economic sectors can safely resume their activities or how closing them can be avoided in the future. 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 Ministerial Order. The pilot projects will be organised in accordance with the protocol defined by the competent ministers and the Federal Minister of Public Health. The protocol will contain 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.

  • As from when and according to which terms can mass events be organised?

    From 13 August 2021, an audience of at least 1,500 people and up to 75,000 people per day, not including employees and organisers, may attend mass events and pilot projects, provided that they are organised outdoors in accordance with the terms of the applicable cooperation agreement, subject to prior authorisation from the competent municipal authority. From 1 September, these mass events may be held indoors and out. There is no end time for mass events, but any catering activities must cease at 1am.

    A tent can be used provided that at least two sides of the tent are completely open and accessible. This will no longer be a requirement as from 1 September onwards, given that indoor mass events will also be possible from then on.

    The use of an air quality meter (CO2) is mandatory and must be installed in the middle of the tent, in a place clearly visible to visitors. The indoor air quality guideline is 900 ppm CO2. Between 900 ppm and 1200 ppm, the organiser must have an action plan to ensure compensatory air quality or air purification measures. Above 1200 ppm the tent should not be used.

    From 1 September, the use of an air quality meter (CO2) is mandatory in every enclosed area of the infrastructure where the mass event takes place and must be installed in the middle of the area in a place clearly visible to the visitor. The indoor air quality guideline is 900 ppm CO2. Above 900 ppm, the organiser must have an action plan to ensure compensatory air quality or air purification measures.

    The arrival zone to the mass event will be organised in such a way that social distancing rules can be respected.

  • What is the difference between an event and a mass event?

    Event

    • indoors/outdoors:

    • indoors:

    • until 29 July 2021: a seated audience of up to 100% of the CIRM capacity and without exceeding 2,000 people;

    • as from 30 July 2021, a (seated or standing) audience of up to 100% of the CIRM capacity and without exceeding 3,000 people;

    • outdoors:

    • until 29 July 2021, a (seated or standing) audience of up 2,500 people;

    • as from 30 July 2021, a (seated or standing) audience of up 5,000 people;

    • wearing a face mask is compulsory (exception: at an outdoor event where the audience is required to remain seated, the face mask may be removed as long as the person is seated) and social distancing measures must be respected between groups of up to eight people excluding children up to the age of 12;

    • the opening hours are limited from 5am to 1am;

    • When granting permission, the competent local authority is not obliged to use the CIRM/CERM provided that the audience consists of less than 100 people indoors or less than 200 people outdoors. From 1 September, these numbers will be increased to 200 people indoors and 400 people outdoors;

    • compliance with the minimum rules applicable to establishments belonging to the cultural, festive, sports, recreational and events sectors and the applicable protocol.

    Mass event

    • an audience of at least 1,500 and up to 75,000 people per day;

    • outdoors/indoors:

    • outdoors and in a tent provided that at least two sides are completely open and accessible: allowed as from 13 August 2021;

    • indoors: allowed as from 1 September 2021;

    • access is subject to the presentation of a CST (COVID Safe Ticket)

    • Organisers may choose to provide additional modalities of testing in order to allow access to those visitors who cannot present a valid CST. In this case, they are obliged to provide approved rapid antigen tests and to have them carried out by legally competent professionals;

    • In the case of multi-day events, mass events must be organised in such a way that each visitor passes a checkpoint once a day where their CST can be scanned or, if necessary, they can get tested.

    • requires prior permission from the appropriate local authority, but is not subject to the use of the CERM/CIRM;

    • exemption from wearing a face mask and complying with the social distancing measures;

    • the arrival zone to the mass event must be organised in such a way that social distancing rules can be respected;

    • opening hours are not limited;

    • any catering activities must cease at 1am;

    • compliance with the cooperation agreement and the applicable protocol.

    From 1 September, the use of an air quality meter (CO2) is mandatory in every enclosed area of the infrastructure where the mass event takes place and must be installed in the middle of the area in a place clearly visible to the visitor. The indoor air quality guideline is 900 ppm CO2. Above 900 ppm, the organiser must have an action plan to ensure compensatory air quality or air purification measures.

    For more information, you can consult the Events FAQ here https://d34j62pglfm3rr.cloudfront.net/downloads/FAQ+evenementen+-+versie+1_30062021_NL.pdf

  • When should the COVID Event/Infrastructure Risk Model (CERM/CIRM) be used?

    The “CERM” is a tool which allows local authorities to broadly assess the organisation of an event on its territory in terms of the sanitary measures in force. It is available on the website “covideventriskmodel.be”.

    The “CIRM” is a tool which allows local authorities to broadly assess the infrastructure on its territory for the organisation of events in terms of the sanitary measures in force. It is available on the website “covideventriskmodel.be/cirm”.

    The CERM and, where applicable, the CIRM must be used for decisions relating to the organisation of events, cultural and other performances, sports competitions and training sessions and conferences, with an audience of more than 100 people indoors (200 as from 1 September 2021) and more than 200 people outdoors (400 as from 1 September 2021). They are also used to exceed the maximum number of people present at worship services and ceremonies.

    Local authorities do not need to use the CERM and CIRM to authorise mass events.

  • What about demonstrations?
    Demonstrations are allowed again with no limit to the maximum number of participants. However, it remains mandatory to comply with the social distancing rules and to wear a face mask.
  • What are the rules for receptions and banquets ?

    The rules in force for receptions and banquets (wedding receptions, baby showers, wedding anniversaries, funeral receptions, etc.) differ depending on whether they take place at home, in a catering establishment or in a private room.

    At home

    When hosting a reception or banquet at home, the following rules apply:

    Indoors:

    • a household can accommodate up to eight other people, not including children up to the age of 12;
    • any professional caterer is included in the eight people;
    • It is highly recommended to comply with the catering rules, even if the reception or banquet is organised by a professional caterer;
    • the services of professional caterers can be used until 1am.

    Outdoors:

    • there is no limit on how many people may get together, however, where possible, household groups of up to eight people are formed, not including children up to the age of 12. These groups may not mix during receptions or banquets;
    • it is highly recommended to comply with the catering rules, even if the reception or banquet is organised by a professional caterer;
    • the services of professional caterers can be used until 1am.

    Catering establishments

    When a reception or banquet is organised in a hospitality establishment, there is no limit to the number of people who may gather, however, the hospitality rules apply (such as the maximum number of people per table, table seating only, until 1am).

    Reception room

    The rules for receptions and banquets held in, for instance, a party room, parish hall or scout hall differ depending on whether or not they concern a professional catering activity (e.g. a reception or banquet where the services of a professional caterer are used).

    If it concerns a professional hospitality activity:

    • there is no limit to the number of people who can gather;
    • the hospitality rules apply (such as the maximum number of people per table, table seating only and closure at 1am).

    If it does not concern a professional catering activity:

    • there is no limit on how many people may get together, however, household groups of up to eight people are formed, not including children up to the age of 12. These groups may not mix during receptions;
    • complying with the catering rules is highly recommended.

    On the other hand, parties, such as neighbourhood barbecues and mussel feasts, which are freely accessible and have been authorised by the municipality, are considered to be events. They must follow the applicable rules (local authority approval, use of the CERM/CIRM where needed, catering rules except for the 80 dB noise-level limit, etc.)

    Such initiatives can take place indoors with:

    • a seated audience of up to 100% of the CIRM capacity and without exceeding 2,000 people until 29 July 2021, including children up to the age of 12;
    • a (seated or standing) audience of up to 100% of the CIRM capacity and without exceeding 3,000 people as from 30 July 2021, including children up to the age of 12;

    Such initiatives can take place outdoors with:

    • a (seated or standing) audience of up 2,500 people until 29 July 2021, including children up to the age of 12;
    • a (seated or standing) audience of up 5,000 people as from 30 July 2021, including children up to the age of 12.
  • What about youth activities?

    All cultural, recreational, sports and youth activities in an organised context must comply with the following measures and applicable protocol:

    • They take place for one or more groups, not including guides, of up to:

    • 100 people until 29 July;

    • 200 people as of 30 July;

    • They must take place in the presence of an adult supervisor, trainer or coach;

    • They can take place with an overnight stay;

    • Participants must remain in the same group. Groups are not allowed to mix;

    • Each participant up to the age of 17 may be accompanied by one or several members of the same household.

    Where possible, supervisors and participants aged 13 or over must comply with the social distancing rules of 1.5 m between each person.

    The above-mentioned measures do not apply to educational activities of compulsory education such as breakfast and after-school clubs, homework clubs, youth welfare services or other types of special activities for vulnerable children or children with learning difficulties. These activities should always be organised in compliance with the educational protocols and other preventive measures.

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

  • What are the rules for worship services and ceremonies ?

    Indoors

    A maximum of 200 people, not including children up to the age of 12, the civil registrar and the minister of religion, may attend the following activities at the same time in the buildings provided for this purpose, independent of the number of rooms within the building:

    • civil marriages;
    • congregational worship and the collective practice of non-denominational moral services and of activities within a philosophical association.
    • individual worship and the individual practice of non-denominational moral services and of activities within a philosophical association.
    • individually or collectively visiting places of worship or buildings intended for non-denominational moral services.

    A maximum of 200 people, not including children up to the age of 12, the civil registrar and the minister of religion, may attend funerals and cremations at the same time in separate rooms of buildings provided for this purpose: This rule also applies to waiting areas.

    The number of people present at these ceremonies may be increased, provided that they are seated and the competent municipal authorities have given their consent. To grant this permission, municipal authorities use the CERM and, when applicable, the CIRM. The gathering must be limited to 100% of the CIRM capacity, without exceeding 2,000 people until 29 July 2021 and 3,000 people as of 30 July 2021, including children up to the age of 12.

    Outdoors A maximum of 400 people, not including children up to the age of 12, the civil registrar and the minister of religion, may be present at the same time at for the following activities:

    • visiting a cemetery as part of a funeral ceremony;
    • insofar as they are organised outdoors at the places designated for this purpose and, where appropriate, in accordance with the applicable protocol:
      • civil marriages. The intended place for this will be determined by the municipality;
      • congregational worship and the collective practice of non-denominational moral services and of activities within a philosophical association.
      • individual worship and the individual practice of non-denominational moral services and of activities within a philosophical association.

    The number of people present at these ceremonies may be increased, subject to approval from the competent municipal authorities. To grant this permission, municipal authorities use the CERM and, when applicable, the CIRM. The gathering must be limited to a maximum of 2,500 people until 29 July 2021 and 5,000 people as of 30 July 2021, including children up to the age of 12.

    The following minimum rules must be adhered to, regardless of whether they take place indoors or out:

    1. operators and organisers must visibly inform the people present and employees in good time regarding the preventive measures in force;
    2. a distance of 1.5 metres is guaranteed between each group of up to eight people, children up to the age of 12 not included. Groups of more than eight people are allowed as long as they belong to the same household. People must remain in the same group during an activity. Groups are not allowed to mix during this time;
    3. it is mandatory to cover mouth and nose with a face mask and it is strongly recommended to wear other personal protective equipment;
    4. the activity must be organised in such a way that the social distancing rules can be respected, also with regard to people waiting outside the establishment or buildings;
    5. the operator or organiser must provide staff and customers with the means to ensure the necessary hand hygiene;
    6. the operator or organiser must take the appropriate hygiene measures to regularly disinfect the establishment and the material used;
    7. the operator or organiser must ensure good ventilation;
    8. physical contact between people is prohibited, except between members of a group of up to eight people or of the same household;
    9. when exposing the body at funerals and cremations, a distance of 1.5 m should be respected from the exposed body.
  • What rules apply to funerals and cremations?

    A maximum of 50 people, excluding children up to the age of 12 and the minister of religion, may be present at the same time at funerals and cremations in separate rooms of buildings intended for this purpose and in a cemetery as part of a funeral ceremony. This rule also applies to waiting areas. Funerals and cremations take place without the possibility of the body being exposed.

    Several funerals and cremations can be organised simultaneously in the same building designated for this purpose, as long as they take place in separate areas.

    The following minimum rules apply:

    1. the operator or organiser must visibly inform those present and its employees in good time regarding the preventive measures in force and provide its staff with appropriate training;
    2. a distance of 1.5 meters between each person must be ensured and one person per 10 m2 is allowed;
    3. it is mandatory to cover mouth and nose with a face mask and it is strongly recommended to wear other personal protective equipment;
    4. the activity must be organised in such a way so as to avoid gatherings and to ensure that social distancing rules can be respected, in particular with regard to people waiting outside the establishment, in accordance with the directives issued by the competent authority;
    5. the operator or organiser must provide staff and those present with the means to ensure the necessary hand hygiene;
    6. the operator or organiser must take the appropriate hygiene measures to regularly disinfect the establishment and the material used;
    7. the operator or organiser must ensure good ventilation;
    8. physical contact between people is prohibited, except between members of the same household;
    9. physical contact with objects by different people is prohibited.

    Funeral receptions may only take place on open terraces that are part of a catering establishment, of a professional catering company or of a party or reception venue. Only these places are allowed to receive people and offer drinks and food for immediate consumption according to the applicable terms, as described in the Catering section of this FAQ.

    Outside this framework, funeral receptions are not allowed.

  • Is it allowed to organise a ceremony somewhere else (for example, outdoors)?

    Yes, for some ceremonies it is possible to organise them outdoors but only in places intended for this and, where appropriate, in accordance with the applicable protocol.

    For religious marriages, individual/collective worship and non-denominational moral services, it is permitted to organise a ceremony in private, outdoor areas (e.g. courtyard, interior garden or private outdoor car park, school playground, grounds of youth movements or a presbytery garden). These locations may not be adjacent to public roads or located on public property. Civil marriages can take place outside, in places determined by the municipality.

  • Which rules apply to visiting a place of worship?
    Places of worship may remain open for individual visitors but only a maximum of 200 people may be present in the building at any one time, excluding children under the age of 12 and the minister of religion. This maximum number applies regardless of the number of rooms in the building.

Transport & International

  • driving license driver’s license tires tyre change garage public transport train tram bus metro premetro plane station airport harbor port harbour bike taxi carpool cruise sharing boat sailing boat moving transportation borders abroad
  • Please note
    1. Residents of Andorra, Monaco, San Marino, and the Holy See are to be considered EU residents for the purposes mentioned below.
    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.
  • Travelling to and from Belgium - 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 fully vaccinated individuals with a recognised vaccination certificate as from 1 July 2021.

    ‘Fully vaccinated’ means vaccinated with a vaccine approved by the European Medicines Agency (EMA) and for which all doses of the vaccine provided for in the leaflet have been administered at least two weeks before travelling.

    A ‘recognised vaccination certificate’ means the EU Digital COVID Certificate or a certificate from a third country deemed equivalent by the European Commission on the basis of the implementing act or by Belgium on the basis of bilateral agreements. Please check prior to your trip whether the third-country certificate is deemed equivalent to the EU certificate. https://diplomatie.belgium.be/en

    Travel to countries outside the European Union or 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.

  • 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). Third countries are considered to be red zones, with the exception of the countries listed on the website: https://www.info-coronavirus.be/en 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, the so-called ‘very high-risk countries’. These countries are subject to stricter measures.

    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

    These countries https://www.info-coronavirus.be/en/countries-with-high-risk/ are classified as very high-risk countries

    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);

    • 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.
    • Exception: 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;
    • 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 (only for residents in Belgium) 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 marked as "green" or "orange" on this list (https://www.info-coronavirus.be/en/colour-codes-by-country/). 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.

  • 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 marked as "red" on this list (https://www.info-coronavirus.be/en/colour-codes-by-country/) , however, it is not a very high-risk country. May I travel to Belgium?

    As of 1 July 2021, you are allowed to travel to Belgium if you are fully vaccinated and can prove this with a recognised vaccination certificate such as the EU Digital COVID Certificate or an equivalent.

    If you are not fully vaccinated or in the absence of a recognised 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.

    The specific conditions, described above in point 2, 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 before boarding. In the absence of this 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.

    Exception

    As from 28 April 2021, it is prohibited for people who were in Brazil, South Africa or India at any time during the past 14 days to travel directly or indirectly to Belgium, provided they do not have Belgian nationality or do not have their main residence in Belgium, with the exception of the following essential journeys which are permitted:

    • Transport personnel, freight and cargo personnel and mariners travelling for work, provided that they have a certificate from the employer;
    • A trip undertaken by 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, provided that they hold an essential travel certificate issued by the Belgian diplomatic mission or consular post.

    Where a carrier is used, the carrier is obliged to check that passengers are carrying this certificate before boarding. In the absence of this 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.

    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.

  • 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.

    For travellers whose primary residence is in a third country marked as “red” on this 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 or a negative COVID-19 test certificate, 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.

    1. Vaccination, test or recovery certificate (EU Digital COVID Certificate) The EU Digital COVID Certificate or a certificate from a third country deemed equivalent by the European Commission on the basis of the implementing act or by Belgium on the basis of bilateral agreements, includes the 3 following aspects: vaccination certificate, test certificate or recovery certificate.

    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.

    Certificates for children can be downloaded by the parents.

    Carriers are obliged to check whether passengers 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

    A vaccination certificate shows who was vaccinated, when and with which vaccine. The vaccination certificate is valid for 1 year after vaccination.

    In the context of international travel, this certificate allows you to demonstrate your status as ‘fully vaccinated’. ‘Fully vaccinated’ means vaccinated with a vaccine approved by the European Medicines Agency (EMA) and for which all doses of the vaccine provided for in the leaflet have been administered at least two weeks before travelling.

    B. Test certificate

    A negative test certificate shows that you were tested and that no infection was detected. The certificate shows where and when the test was taken.

    In the context of international travel, you can use this certificate to demonstrate that you have undergone a test and that the result was negative.

    C. Recovery certificate

    A recovery certificate shows that you have recovered from COVID-19 after previously testing positive. The certificate shows when recovery was determined.

  • What should I do if the country of destination requests a negative COVID-19 test before entering its territory?
  • When should I have a negative test result prior to travelling 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/ ). The test should be conducted at the earliest 72 hours before arrival on Belgian territory.

    Exceptions:

    • Travellers who are fully vaccinated and can prove this with a recognised vaccination certificate do not need to undergo additional testing or quarantine;
    • 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 negative test result. *Travellers who only transit by air and who only enter the transit zone do not have to present a negative test result either. They must have a confirmed ticket for their connecting flight. Travellers must have a negative test result before arriving in Belgium if this is needed to travel on to the final destination. They cannot be 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 from these countries always need to have a negative test result. The test should be conducted at the earliest 72 hours before arrival in Belgium.

    Carriers are obliged to check whether passengers are able to submit a negative test result or a vaccination, test or recovery certificate before boarding the organised transport. In the absence of a negative test result, 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 a negative PCR test if required 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 document confirming the negative test result must be immediately available for inspection on paper or in electronic form. This document must be drawn up in Dutch, French, German, or English. The document drawn up by the passenger for the carrier or for the attention of intermediaries must specify the following:

    • A negative test result.
    • The date the sample was collected must be clearly indicated: the document is valid for 72 hours from that date.
    • Only PCR tests for SARS CoV-2 with PCR approval are accepted.
    • The analysis must have been carried out in an official laboratory in the traveller’s country of origin and certified by a physician or pharmacist-biologist (equivalent to the NIHDI).

    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, random checks may be carried out at the borders.

    The following people do not need to present a negative test result when travelling to Belgium for business purposes:

    1. 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);
    1. Border pupils who travel to Belgium in the context of compulsory education;

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

    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.

  • 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 no earlier than 48 hours before arriving in Belgium.

    Exception:

    • 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.

    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 the territory.

    The PLF should be completed electronically where possible. 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”.

    If it is not possible for the passenger to use the electronic Passenger Locator Form (e-PLF), a paper version of the PLF can be used. The paper version of the PLF can be found at https://www.info-coronavirus.be/en/ Travellers must download, complete and sign this document before arriving in Belgium. You must be able to hand over the original to the enforcement authorities each time an inspection is carried out.

    • Passengers travelling from a country within the Schengen Area will have to show the PLF and hand it over to the carrier when boarding.
    • Passengers travelling from a country outside the Schengen Area must hand in their PLF upon arrival at the border control.
    • People not travelling by carrier should submit the PLF within 12 hours of their arrival in Belgium. This can be done via e-mail to PLFBelgium@health.fgov.be or by copying the data from the paper version into the electronic version of the PLF.

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

    As of 1 July, the PLF will take 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 preferably by filling in a new e-PLF via https://travel.info-coronavirus.be/ with the complete and updated details. If you are using the paper version, please e-mail the modified version to PLFBelgium@health.fgov.be.

    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 to the territory may be refused.

  • 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.

    Travelers who can prove full vaccination with a vaccination certificate must be tested on day 1 and quarantined until the result of the test is known.

    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.

    Travelers who can demonstrate full vaccination with a vaccination certificate do not need to be tested or quarantined.

    Exception: If at any time during the 14 days prior to their arrival in Belgium, travellers have been present on the territory of a third country classified as a ‘very high risk country’: travellers coming from a third country classified as a ‘very high risk country’ must spend 10 days in quarantine.

    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 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.

    In only a few cases, there are strict exceptions. These are listed below under “Exemptions from testing and quarantine upon arrival in Belgium”.

    The Passenger Locator Form takes professional travel into account certified by the employer when completing the self-assessment tool.

    Children under the age of 12 should not be tested, but they must respect 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 test rules risk a fine of EUR 250 or more in the case of repeat offenders.

    Travellers coming from ‘very high-risk countries’ must quarantine for 10 days.

    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.

    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 staying indoors (including garden or terrace) in a single place, which must be specified in advance via 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 (domestic) animals, if no one else can provide it;
      • Travel in the context of funerals.

    Quarantine versus isolation: the difference

    If you are required to go into isolation, it is for a period of 10 days. That’s what happens when you’re ill or have tested positive. 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?

    A. 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 the red zone is also considered to be a very high-risk zone, a test is also mandatory on day 7 after returning to Belgium.

    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 the red zone is also classified as a very high-risk zone, a test is also mandatory on day 7 after arriving in Belgium.

    Exceptions:

    • Travellers who can prove that they have been fully vaccinated with a vaccination 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.

    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.

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

    B. 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 get tested prior to travelling (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 get tested prior to travelling (see above) and on day 7 of quarantine.

    Exceptions:

    • Travellers who can prove that they have been fully vaccinated with a recognised vaccination certificate must get tested on day 1 and remain in quarantine until the result of the test is known, except when travellers have been on the territory of a third country classified as a very high-risk zone;

    • Travellers who can prove that they have been fully vaccinated with a recognised vaccination certificate and who have a negative test result prior to travelling (see above) do not need to get tested, nor must they quarantine, 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;

    • 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;

    • 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).

    They will receive a text message upon their return with which they can register at a test centre where the sampling for a PCR test will be done. 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 will be placed in isolation 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. Despite the negative test on day 1, quarantine must be respected.
    • 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.