fps health belgium banner

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 or a scarf covering your mouth and nose.
  • You are not allowed to be on the street between midnight and 5 AM.

On holiday abroad

Do you have a question about journeys ?

Work

Do you have a question about employment?

Shops and catering industry

  • Essential shops are open. For example: supermarket, bakery, pharmacy or post office. Garden centres, newsagents and do-it-yourself shops are open too.
    • You are allowed to do your shopping with a maximum of 2 people.
    • Your maximum shopping time is 30 minutes.
    • Wear a face mask. This is mandatory.
  • All other shops are closed. You are allowed to pick up products or have them delivered to you.
  • Markets are open. Only stalls with essential products (such as food) are allowed. Rumbling markets and Christmas markets are not allowed.
  • Contact professions such as hairdressers and beauty salons must temporarily cease their activities. Contact professions can only continue to work in the context of medical treatment.
  • Night shops are open until 10 pm.
  • You are not allowed to buy alcohol after 8 PM.
  • Cafés and restaurants are closed. You can order take away until 10 PM.
  • Do you own a shop? Read the guide by the FPS Economy.
  • Do you own a pub or restaurant? Read the guide by the FPS Economy.

Do you have a question about employment?

Social contact

  • You are allowed to have close contact with a maximum of 1 person (always the same person). Keeping 1.5 meters distance is not necessary in that case.
  • Are you inviting someone to your home? You are allowed to invite a maximum of 1 close contact per family.
  • Do you live on your own? You are allowed to invite your close contact and one extra person to your home. These people cannot be in your house at the same time.
  • Are you meeting out in the street together? Groups of up to 4 people are allowed. You have to keep 1.5 meters distance.

Do you have a question about social contact ?

Sports and leisure

  • Everything is closed. For example cinemas, casinos, amusement parks and zoos.
  • There are no events or performances. For example: theatre or concerts.
  • Libraries will remain open.
  • Outdoor playgrounds will remain open.
  • Holiday parks must close on 3 November. Swimming pools, restaurants and bars in the parks are already closed.
  • You must wear a face mask (from the age of 12). This is mandatory in the following places:
    • shops and shopping malls,
    • crowded places,
    • markets,
    • public transport,
    • libraries,
    • auditoria,
    • religious buildings

Sport

  • You are allowed to exercise outdoors with a maximum of 4 people. Keep 1.5 meters distance.
  • Sports clubs, swimming pools, wellness centres and fitness centres are closed.

Religion

  • There are no religious services.
  • Prayer houses are open.
    • Groups of up to 4 people are allowed.
    • Keep 1.5 meters distance.
    • You have to wear a face mask.
  • Funerals may be attended by 15 people. No food may be served afterwards.
  • Weddings can go ahead. Only the couple, a maximum 2 witnesses, the civil registrar or the officiator of the service (e.g. priest or imam) may attend.No food may be served afterwards.

Do you have a question about sports or culture?

Nurseries and schools

  • Day-care is open.
  • There is no school until 15 November. Your school will provide you with 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

  • measures government federal flanders brussels german social contact four persons bubble group boyfriend girlfriend partner parents grandparents
  • What can I do myself?

    Belgium is in a state of sanitary emergency, based on the following indicators:

    1. the increase in the number of symptomatic persons and the positivity rate, which reflect an increased virus circulation;
    2. the rapidly deteriorating situation in residential care centres;
    3. the risk of hospital capacity being exceeded;
    4. the continued pressure on the health care system, laboratories and contact tracing centres;
    5. Belgium’s position in Europe in terms of coronavirus infections, and
    6. all this despite the measures already taken. It is for these reasons that the Consultative Committee of 30 October 2020 has announced a new set of stricter measures. These stricter measures are necessary to stem the growing pressure on our hospitals and reverse the infection curve as quickly and drastically as possible. These measures are applicable from 2 November 2020 until Sunday 13 December 2020.

    Respecting the six golden rules remains crucial, alongside these stricter measures. As a reminder, the six golden rules are as follows:

    1. The hygiene measures (e.g. washing hands, coughing and sneezing hygiene, etc.) 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.
    3. Social distancing of 1.5 meters is the norm, except for people living under the same roof or between people who have close contact on a regular basis, for children mixing up to the age of 12 and between counsellors and their clients (people in need of counselling). People who are unable to respect social distancing must wear a face mask;
    4. It is necessary for everyone to limit their close contacts as much as possible. “Closer contact” implies contact which lasts longer than 15 minutes, without respecting social distancing and without wearing a face mask. During this phase of the epidemic, it is recommended that each person limits themselves to close contact with 1 person (outside the household).
    5. Gatherings are limited to a maximum of 4 people (not including children up to the age of 12). Not including exceptions stipulated in the Ministerial Order. These six golden rules are instructions and not recommendations. They must therefore be adhered to by everyone.
  • 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.

Work & economy

  • food bank bar lawyer volonteer café carwash hairdresser work employee employer workplace shops construction finance foodtruck independent tourism working from home shift company online shopping internship intern chip shop restaurant control garage finance
  • Economy

    In order to minimise physical contact between people, large crowds should be avoided in public spaces and on public transport. It was therefore decided to make teleworking compulsory and for this reason only shops, retail businesses, businesses and services offering essential goods or services can remain open to the public.

    Companies and associations offering goods or services to consumers and which may remain open to the public shall carry out their activities in accordance with the applicable sectoral protocol. To the extent possible, links to the available protocols will be published on the website https://www.info-coronavirus.be/nl/protocollen/.

    If there is no protocol or guide for a sector, the twelve general minimal rules provided for in the Ministerial Order apply:

    1. The company or association must inform its customers and 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;
    3. Customers are admitted for a maximum period of 30 minutes or for the duration of the appointment;
    4. One customer per 10 m2;
    5. Two customers are allowed if the accessible floor space is less than 20 m2 and provided a distance of 1.5 m between each person is guaranteed;
    6. Face masks and other personal protective equipment are always strongly recommended within businesses and associations and must be used in these places if the rules of social distancing cannot be complied with, due to the nature of the activity performed;
    7. The activity must be organised in such a way as to avoid gatherings;
    8. The company or association must provide staff and customers with the means to ensure the necessary hand hygiene;
    9. The company or association must take the appropriate hygiene measures to regularly disinfect the establishment and the material used;
    10. The company or association must ensure good ventilation;
    11. 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;
    12. Terraces and public spaces must be organised in accordance with the rules laid down by the municipal authorities and in compliance with the same rules as those that apply indoors. In addition, customers must shop alone or with a maximum of one other person from the same household or with whom he/she has close contact on a regular basis. An adult can accompany minors living under the same roof or a person in need of an escort.
  • What are the general principles for the economy?
    • Teleworking is mandatory in all companies, associations and services for all staff unless this is not possible due to the nature of their role or because it would disrupt the continuity of business operations, activities and services.
    • Where teleworking cannot be applied, companies must take the appropriate measures:
      • ensuring maximum compliance with social distancing rules, and in particular that a distance of 1.5 m is maintained between each person;
      • if the social distancing rules cannot be guaranteed, ensuring at least an equivalent level of protection.
      • the employer provides staff members who are unable to work from home with a certificate or any other evidence confirming the need for their presence at the workplace. This applies to all sectors and businesses. This certificate or other form of evidence may be an existing document or card (e.g. a badge) belonging to the staff member concerned.
    • Face-to-face team building sessions are prohibited.

    The application of these principles must be guaranteed at company level and developed by taking preventative measures as defined in the “Generic guide for combatting the spread of COVID-19 at work” (available at: https://employment.belgium.be/sites/default/files/content/documents/Coronavirus/Genericguide.pdf ); possibly supplemented by:

    • guidelines at sectoral level;
    • and/or guidelines at company level; and/or other appropriate measures offering at least an equivalent level of protection. Collective measures always take precedence over individual measures. Exceptions to the general principles:

    For private and public companies and services necessary for the protection of the vital interests of the Nation and the needs of the public (see Annex to the Ministerial Order of 28 October 2020)

    • Teleworking is mandatory in all companies for all staff unless this is not possible due to the nature of their role or because it would disrupt the continuity of business operations, activities and services.
    • In addition, these companies and services are obliged to apply, to the extent possible, the social distancing rules.

    This exception also applies to producers, suppliers, contractors and subcontractors of goods, works and services which are essential to the activity of those companies and to the provision of those services.

  • Can company canteens stay open?
    Yes, company canteens are allowed to remain open and are included in the mass catering operations and canteens for business communities. They must comply with the hygiene and social distancing measures that apply to the authorised catering activities and that are described below under the Catering section.
  • Are architects allowed to receive clients at the office as well as make a site visit?
    Yes, they may continue their work face-to-face, as they belong to Joint Committee 336 for liberal professions. The teleworking rules and preventive measures at work must be respected, as well as the applicable protocols/guides or the 12 minimum rules described above.
  • Which shops can stay open?

    Businesses and associations offering goods to consumers are closed to the public. However, they can continue their activities either through delivery or through an appointment system to collect pre- ordered goods in the open air, outside the shop.

    The following minimum rules apply:

    1. the operator or organiser must inform its customers and 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;
    3. face masks and other personal protective equipment are always strongly recommended inside the establishment and must be used if the rules of social distancing cannot be complied with, due to the nature of the activity performed;
    4. the activity must be organised in such a way as to avoid gatherings;
    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.

    The following retail businesses or parts of retail businesses may remain open to the public to the extent that they are primarily offering essential goods and only for the purpose of offering the said goods:

    • food shops and night shops (including butchers, cheesemongers, chocolatiers, wine merchants and grocery stores);
    • shops selling products for hygiene & personal care (e.g. chemists);
    • pet food shops;
    • pharmacies;
    • newsagents and bookshops;
    • petrol stations, charging points and fuel suppliers;
    • telecom stores, excluding stores that only sell accessories;
    • stores selling medical aids (e.g. bandagists);
    • do-it-yourself stores, both with a general and a specialised range;
    • garden centres and tree nurseries;
    • flower and plant shops;
    • wholesalers intended for professionals, but only for the benefit of the latter;
    • specialised retail businesses selling clothing fabrics;
    • specialised retail businesses selling knitting yarns, handicrafts and haberdashery.
    • stationery shops.

    The main product range of these companies and associations must consist of essential goods in order to remain open. These companies and associations can only be open to consumers to physically supply essential goods in order to pursue a harmonised playing field vis-à-vis specialised companies that have to close down. The essential goods concern the traditional primary offering of the above-mentioned shops. Furniture (including bathroom and kitchen furniture), garden furniture, barbecue equipment, large kitchen utensils, mobile heating appliances, decorative items (excluding candles), multimedia, electrical equipment, toys, clothing, footwear, telecom accessories, jewellery, leather goods, sports goods, etc. are not considered to be essential goods. Non-essential goods must be made inaccessible to the public or should be covered in those establishments that are open. These goods can only be delivered or collected outside the shop after they have been ordered. Ordering non-essential goods should be done remotely, for example online or by phone. Delivery or collection should take place at a later time. Non-essential goods should not be ordered at the same time as physically shopping for essential goods in the same store.

    Do-it-yourself stores may only sell materials (including tools) to carry out work in the house or garden in the store. Specialised do-it-yourself stores such as paint and tile shops may remain open. Kitchen & bathroom specialists, etc. that are not do-it-yourself stores must close their shop and showroom but can continue to work by means of collection and delivery.

    Businesses and associations closed to the public may nevertheless offer their goods and services to professionals by appointment in their shops or showrooms, in compliance with sanitary rules. Showrooms for wholesalers may be opened to professionals.

    Customers must shop alone or with a maximum of one other person from the same household or with whom he/she has close contact on a regular basis. An adult can accompany minors living under the same roof or a person in need of an escort. Retail businesses which remain open must follow the rules laid down in the sectoral protocol and the applicable guide published on the website of the competent public service. If there is no protocol or applicable guide, they must follow the twelve general rules of the Ministerial Order, which are listed above.

    Companies can 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. A number of specific additional conditions apply to shopping centres:

    • One customer per 10m²;
    • Means to ensure necessary hand hygiene must be made available at the entrance and exit;
    • Markers to indicate 1.5 metres distance must be applied to the floor and/or with signs;
    • Visitors may travel alone or with a maximum of one other person, with the exception of adults who may accompany minors living under the same roof or a person in need of an escort.

    Collection of pre-ordered non-essential goods can only take place in the open air and outside the shopping centre by appointment. Ordering non-essential goods should be done remotely, for example online or by phone. Delivery or collection should take place at a later time. Non-essential goods should not be ordered at the same time as physically shopping for essential goods in the same store.

  • 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 8 May 2020 on the management of public space when reopening shops and shopping centres, so that social distancing measures can be respected.
  • What about shops that are allowed to remain open and sell more than just essential goods?

    These shops are only allowed to sell essential goods. Non-essential goods must be made inaccessible to the public or should be covered and can only be delivered or collected in the open air, outside the shop after they have been ordered.

    For example, a supermarket may not sell toys and must close this department or take the products off the shelves. A do-it-yourself store may not offer garden furniture for sale, however, customers may order these products in advance and collect them outside by appointment or have them delivered. Products cannot be chosen or discussed in the store.

    In addition, betting terminals in newsagents should not be open to the public.

  • Are there any specific restrictions on the sale of alcoholic beverages?
    Yes, from 8pm to 5am the sale of alcoholic beverages is prohibited in all establishments (including vending machines). Outside this period, catering establishments can only sell and/or supply alcoholic beverages in combination with a takeaway meal.
  • 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 10.00pm.

    Petrol stations with in-house shops are not considered as night shops and therefore do not have to close at 10.00pm. The sale of alcoholic beverages is prohibited in all establishments (including vending machines) from 8pm to 5am.

  • Can shops selling baby products remain open?
    Yes, but only for hygiene and personal care products (essential products). Other non-essential products such as clothing, toys, pushchairs and furniture must be pre-ordered and can only be delivered or collected by appointment in the open air, outside the shop.
  • Can showrooms remain open?

    No, showrooms for shops that are not DIY stores and for cars must close for consumers. These showrooms may be opened to professionals.

    Showrooms of wholesalers may be opened to professionals.

  • SERVICE TO PRIVATE INDIVIDUALS
    Retail businesses, private and public companies and services may continue to provide their services remotely. Nevertheless, retail businesses, private and public companies and services necessary for the protection of the vital interests of the Nation and the needs of the population (see Annex to the Ministerial Order) may continue to provide face-to-face services to private individuals, subject to the 12 general rules described above. Where the service cannot be provided remotely, social distancing measures must be adhered to as much as possible.
  • Which retail businesses, private and public companies and services are necessary for the protection of the vital interests of the Nation and the needs of the public?

    The complete list of these retail businesses, companies and services can be found in the Annex to the Ministerial Decree of 28 October 2020 as amended on 1 November 2020. Below are some examples:

    • Garages: limited to breakdown, repair, maintenance, after-sales and towing services;
      • This also includes bicycle repairs, tyre changes, car window repairs and preparing for vehicle inspections;
    • launderettes & dry cleaners;
    • waste collection and processing and container parks;
    • notaries, lawyers and bailiffs;
    • syndicates;
    • construction sector
    • locksmiths for situations of force majeure;
    • plumbers, heating installers, electricians and carpenters;
    • the insurance sector;
    • banks;
    • local authorities;
    • vehicle inspection centres;
    • etc.

    The following retail businesses are not included in this Annex and therefore must close. Their services cannot be offered remotely:

    • car wash;
    • dog groomers;
    • tanning shops;
    • travel agencies;
    • driving schools and driving test centres;
    • photographers, with the exception of photographs necessary for identity and other necessary documents;
    • etc.
  • Which close-contact professions may continue their activities?

    Non-medical close-contact professions are prohibited, including services provided at home. As a result, the following retail businesses should also close:

    • beauty salons;
    • non-medical pedicure salons;
    • nail salons;
    • massage parlours;
    • hairdressers and barbers;
    • tattoo parlours and piercing salons;

    Medical or paramedical close-contact professions and occupations regarded as ‘necessary for the protection of the vital interests of the Nation’ (included in the Annex to the Ministerial Decree, JC 330) may be carried out such as dentists, psychologists, physiotherapy, home nursing, maternity care, family care and palliative home care. Podiatrists may still provide foot care. In addition, foot care that is urgent due to medical reasons can be provided by professionals other than podiatrists.

  • Can opticians and hearing specialists remain open?
    Yes, given that they offer medical assistance, they may continue to work.
  • Are companies allowed to rent out materials to private individuals?
    Yes, this is permitted. Materials may only be collected outdoors and by appointment or delivered at home.
  • Are domestic cleaners still permitted? Can I continue to work as a domestic cleaner?
    Yes, this is permitted. Ironing services are also still allowed.
  • Can launderettes & dry cleaners remain open?
    Yes, they may continue to be open.
  • May renovation and construction works continue in private homes?
    Yes, activities such as renovation, painting, electrical works or installation of domestic appliances can continue, provided that social distancing measures are respected.
  • Can estate agents continue their activities?
    Estate agents may not receive clients except when they are providing services to professionals. People who want to rent or buy a property are only allowed to visit the property if no one else is present at that time. As such, estate agents, sellers, landlords or current residents may not be present during the visit. Fulfilling legal obligations, such as drawing up a place description at the start of a tenancy agreement, remains possible.
  • Are notaries, lawyers and bailiffs allowed to continue their activities?
    These professions are listed in the Annex to the Ministerial Order. Face-to-face client meetings are possible when necessary (e.g. to sign deeds), with respect for social distancing measures. As far as possible, all tasks should be performed remotely.
  • May accredited mediators, curators and other judicial representatives continue their activities?
    Yes. These fall within the “judicial services and related professions” listed in the Annex to the Ministerial Decree and may therefore continue their activities.
  • Can interim and temporary recruitment agencies continue their activities?
    Yes, recruitment agencies may remain open but only to provide services to companies belonging to crucial sectors and essential services as regards temporary work, and restricted to care and welfare work for vulnerable target groups and households in accordance with the protocol concerning recognised companies providing neighbourhood work or services.
  • ITINERANT ACTIVITIES

    Markets, with stalls offering primarily essential goods, can take place, but only as far as the supply of these goods is concerned and subject to the prior consent of the local authority. Fun fairs, flea markets, bric-a-brac markets, year markets, Christmas markets and winter villages are prohibited. The necessary measures must be taken at all markets 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 person. 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 must satisfy the following conditions:

    • The conditions determined by the local authorities:
    • The social distancing rules are being respected;
    • The maximum number of visitors permitted at a market is one per 1.5 running metres at the stall;
    • Market vendors are required to cover their mouth and nose with a mask or any other fabric alternative (if this is not possible for medical reasons, a face shield can be worn);
    • Customers are required to wear a face mask when the local authorities impose it or in all situations where it is impossible to ensure compliance with the rules of social distancing;
    • Means for guaranteeing the necessary hand hygiene must be made available at the entrance and exit of the market by the competent municipal authorities. The market vendors will also make hand gels available to their customers;
    • The consumption of food and drinks on the spot is forbidden, takeaways are still permitted;
    • An organisation or system will be introduced to check how many customers are present at the market;
    • A one-way traffic plan will be drawn up for the market with separate entrances and exits, unless a justified deviation from this is permitted by the local authorities in exceptional circumstances that provides for an alternative solution;
    • In addition, customers must shop alone or with a maximum of one other person from the same household or with whom he/she has close contact on a regular basis and no longer than

    30 minutes. An adult can accompany minors living under the same roof or a person in need of an escort.

    Door-to-door activities of any kind are prohibited.

  • What can be sold at a market?
    At a market, only essential goods may be sold similar to those in shops open to the public.
  • Are food trucks still allowed to sell food and drinks?
    Yes, however, they may only sell them as takeaway meals until 10 p.m. at the latest and they may not be consumed on the spot. The sale of alcoholic beverages is prohibited from 8pm to 5am.
  • THE HOTEL, RESTAURANT, AND CATERING (HORECA) SECTOR

    Establishments belonging to the catering sector and other food and drinking establishments will be closed until 13 December 2020, except for takeaways and food delivery and non-alcoholic beverages to take away until 10pm at the latest. Takeaway meals can be sold together and/or delivered with alcoholic beverages until 8.00pm.

    The following establishments can remain open:

    • All types of accommodation, not including their restaurant, drinking establishments and other communal facilities. Holiday parks, bungalow parks and campsites are closed from 3 November 2020;
    • mass catering operations and canteens for school, migrant, residential and business communities. This includes, company, hospital, prison, school and care home restaurants.
    • Shared facilities for the homeless;
    • Food and drink outlets in airport transit zones;
    • Sanitary facilities in the service areas along the motorways.

    For those catering activities that remain authorised, the following modalities must be respected:

    • the tables must be positioned in such a way that a distance of at least 1.5 meters between dinner parties is guaranteed, unless the tables are separated by a plexiglass wall or an equivalent alternative with a minimum height of 1.8 meters;
    • a maximum of four people per table is allowed; An entire household can share a table, regardless of size;
    • only seats at tables are allowed;
    • each person must remain at their own table;
    • every person, 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 is mandatory for all staff (if this is not possible for medical reasons, a face shield can be worn);
    • no bar service is allowed;
    • the contact details of one customer per table, which may be limited to a telephone number or an email address, must be recorded on arrival and kept for 14 calendar days, while respecting the protection of personal data, to facilitate any subsequent contact tracing. Customers who refuse to complete their details will be refused entry to the establishment. These contact details

    may only be used for the purposes of tackling COVID-19 and they must be destroyed after 14 calendar days. In addition, the individual and collective use of hookahs is prohibited in places accessible to the public.

  • Can dog groomers and dog training schools remain open?
    No, they are closed. Services provided at home are not allowed either.
  • Are animal shelters allowed to stay open?
    Animal shelters are not open to the public. Visiting is therefore not allowed. Adopting and giving up animals is possible by one-to-one appointment only and subject to social distancing measures. Volunteers are also allowed to contribute in this regard.
  • Can animal hotels stay open?
    Animal hotels can remain open.
  • Can animal crematoria stay open?
    Yes, only by appointment and subject to social distancing measures.

Health

  • sick infected food health help suicide psychological social numbers deaths press conference steven van gucht sciensano health care mouth mask face mask contact tracing tracking fabric pets dog cat vet doctor nurse hospital care taker healthcare provider epidemic pandemic fear angry depression spiritually mentally healthy youth child abuse violence mourning death afraid testing symptoms support help cough diarrhea cold sore throat abdominal pain fever shortness of breath psychologist dermatologist residential care centres heart lungs intensive care unit hospital retirement home serviceflat infection FFP2 FFP3 pharmacy pharmacist diagnose infection packaging podiatrist
  • 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 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;
    • people meeting each who have close contact on a regular basis;
    • counsellors and their clients (people in need of counselling).

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

    • 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;
    • For supervisors of camps, training sessions and activities that are allowed;
    • 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 in any private or public are with significant footfall, which is determined by the competent local authority and demarcated by a notice specifying the times at which the obligation applies;
    • In conference rooms, auditoriums and places of worship & reflection;
    • In libraries, game and multimedia libraries;
    • 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.

    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. perform activities outside where possible;
    3. be considerate to vulnerable people;
    4. keep 1.5 metres distance; 5 limit your close contacts;
    5. follow the rules concerning gatherings. For more information about fabric face masks, please visit: https://www.info-coronavirus.be/nl/mondmasker/ However, wearing gloves is not recommended, as it gives a false sense of security, people still touch their nose, mouth and eyes if they are wearing gloves, whereby they can still get infected. It is much better to regularly wash hands with soap and water.
  • 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 set at the Inter- ministerial Conference on Public Health on 19 October 2020, as was the suspension of certain preventive screenings.

    This also means that the testing of individual asymptomatic persons after a high-risk contact will be suspended until 15 November. This concerns, in particular, high-risk contacts (outside the management of clusters) and people returning from red zones who, to date, have been tested on the basis of the PLF’s self-assessment tool.

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

    1. Self-isolation period for people with a positive PCR test:
    • For patients with a positive PCR test with symptoms, self-isolation shall be lifted not earlier than 7 days after onset of symptoms AND up to at least 3 days without fever AND with improvement of respiratory symptoms.
    • For people with a positive PCR test who have no symptoms, the 7-day self-isolation period starts from the date the sample was collected.
    1. The period of quarantine for high-risk contacts that are not tested is set at 10 days with an additional 4 days of increased vigilance. These 10 days start from the last day the high-risk contact took place, or the last day of a trip to a red zone abroad. If this person develops symptoms, he/she will of course be tested.

    With regard to quarantine measures after returning from a trip abroad, 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 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

  • police justice department prisons post telecommunication Telenet Proximus Orange network sport culture media hotel overnight stay accommodation events tickets cancellation water boat tour ride household waste messages calling sports leisure entertainment free time hobby kayak golf horseback riding horse f ishing tennis city town local authority municipality
  • Which activities are allowed?

    The epidemiological situation in Belgium has evolved into a sanitary emergency and in order to prevent the health system from collapsing, the Consultative Committee has decided that certain activities can no longer be continued and that contact should be avoided in certain places, in particular in institutions belonging to the cultural, festive, sports, recreational and events sectors.

    The following establishments, or parts of them, are, among others, closed to the public:

    • casinos, fruit machine halls and bookmakers;
    • wellness centres, including saunas, jacuzzis, steam rooms and hammams;
    • night clubs and dance halls;
    • party and reception venues;
    • amusement parks;
    • indoor playgrounds;
    • zoos and animal parks;
    • bowling alleys;
    • fun fairs, year markets, flea markets, bric-a-brac markets, Christmas markets and winter villages;
    • swimming pools;
    • trade fairs including exhibitions;
    • cinemas.

    The following establishments (or parts of them), however, may remain open:

    • outdoor playgrounds;
    • outdoor areas of animal parks and open-air museums, including entrances, exits, sanitary facilities and emergency buildings;
    • libraries, game and multimedia libraries;
    • places of worship and buildings intended for the public practice of non-denominational moral services
    • outdoor areas of sports infrastructures;
    • indoor horse arenas in equestrian centres and racecourses for the sole purpose of animal welfare;
    • cultural places, however, only for:
      • groups of children up to the age of 12, as part of compulsory school or extracurricular activities;
      • courses and activities for children up to the age of 12;
    • sports halls and facilities, however, only for:
      • as far as it does not concern a swimming pool, groups of children up to the age of 12, as part of compulsory school or extracurricular activities;
      • as far as it does not concern a swimming pool, sports activities, courses and camps organised or authorised by the local authorities for children up to the age of 12;
      • training for professional athletes;
      • professional competitions;
      • activities other than sports activities, in so far as these are permitted under the Ministerial Order and the protocols in force.

    For those establishments that remain open, the following 7 minimum rules must be respected:

    1. the operator or organiser must inform its customers and 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;
    3. face masks and other personal protective equipment are always strongly recommended inside the establishment and must be used if the rules of social distancing cannot be complied with, due to the nature of the activity performed;
    4. the activity must be organised in such a way as to avoid gatherings;
    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.

    In order to reduce parties, gatherings and alcohol consumption in public areas and thus reduce the number of infections and the transmission of the virus, it is prohibited to be on public roads and in public areas between midnight and 5am, except for essential journeys which cannot be delayed, such as:

    • for access to urgent medical care, social services and the police;
    • to provide assistance and care for elderly people, minors, disabled people and vulnerable people;
    • escaping from a situation of intrafamily violence;
    • work-related travel, including commuting;
    • movements in the context of wild boar hunting for population control and nuisance;
    • taking someone to or picking someone up from the airport;

    Except in the case of an urgent medical reason, the reason for presence or movement on public roads or in public areas must be justified at the first request of the police services.

  • Social contacts

    In order to prevent the spread of the virus, it is important to respect the six golden rules in all social contacts. In addition, a number of restrictions apply:

    • It is advisable not to have close contact with more than one person who does not belong to your own household. “Close contact” implies contact which lasts longer than 15 minutes, without respecting the six golden rules such as social distancing and wearing a face mask. It is not recommended that grandparents have close contact with their grandchildren.
    • Each member of a household can meet one close contact on a regular basis every 6 weeks at home or in a tourist accommodation.
    • A single person can meet one additional person, on top of the close contact he/she meets on a regular basis, at home or in a tourist accommodation and at a different moment in time. Social distancing measures must be respected with this additional person. It is recommended not to change this additional person too often. The close contact is considered to be “permanent”. Apart from the exceptions mentioned in the Ministerial Order, gatherings are limited to a maximum of 4 people, excluding children younger than 12.

    Social distancing of 1.5 meters and wearing a face mask continue to be mandatory, except:

    • for people living under the same roof;
    • for people meeting each other as part of the “closer contact” rule;
    • for children mixing up to the age of 12,
    • between counsellors and their clients (people in need of counselling).
  • Can I move house?
    This is permitted, but the rules for gatherings and private meetings at home apply. Removal companies that fall under the Joint Committee 140.05 are allowed to offer their services to private individuals.
  • 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.
  • 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 persons that can be transported therefore varies according to the type of vehicle. A household or people who belong to “the closer contacts” can travel in 1 car. In this case, the social distancing rule does not apply. It is recommended to regularly ventilate and clean the vehicle. It is mandatory to wear a face mask to cover your nose and mouth, 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 persons that can be transported therefore varies according to the type of vehicle. This rule does not apply to people belonging to the same household or “the closer contacts”. 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?

    All types of accommodation (including hotels, apart-hotels, gîtes, B&Bs) with the exception of their restaurant, drinking establishments and other communal facilities (e.g. shared bathroom, pool and fitness room). Holiday parks, bungalow parks and campsites are closed from 3 November 2020, with the exception of holiday residences, bungalows, chalets and camping equipment intended for use by the owner and/or his household, or by a household which has its habitual residence there and solely for this purpose.

    As regards the number of visitors per accommodation unit, the same rules apply as to private meetings at home. This means that every household is allowed to rent a residential unit with each other or with a maximum of one close contact.

    Travelling abroad is strongly discouraged, however, borders will remain open in accordance with European guidelines.

  • Can I travel to my second home?
    Yes, you can always go to your second home, even if it is situated on a campsite or in a holiday or bungalow park.
  • Are picnic areas authorised?
    Visitors are allowed to bring their own food and eat it in a family setting at picnic sites (in the open air, of course). Of course, the whole family can sit at the same table.
  • Sports infrastructure and facilities

    Facilities (or parts of them) belonging to the sports sector are closed to the public. However, indoor sports halls and infrastructures remain open for:

    • groups of children up to the age of 12, as part of compulsory school or extracurricular activities, with the exception of swimming pools;
    • sports activities, courses and camps organised or authorised by the local authorities for children up to the age of 12, with the exception of swimming pools;
    • training for professional athletes;
    • professional competitions;
    • activities other than sports activities, in so far as these are permitted under the provisions of the Ministerial Order of 28 October and the protocols in force.

    Outside areas of sports infrastructures (e.g. a football field) remain accessible. Outdoor sports are not allowed in groups of more than 4 people. Indoor horse arenas in equestrian centres and racecourses also remain open, however, this is for the sole purpose of animal welfare; Canteens and drinking establishments must be closed.

    The following minimum rules apply in sports infrastructures and facilities that remain open:

    1. the operator or organiser must inform its customers and 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;
    3. face masks and other personal protective equipment are always strongly recommended inside the establishment and must be used if the rules of social distancing cannot be complied with, due to the nature of the activity performed;
    4. the activity must be organised in such a way as to avoid gatherings;
    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.
  • Sports activities and training
    • Amateur athletes who are 13 or older can only train outdoors. They can use the outside areas of sports infrastructures (e.g. a football field or basketball court) to train together with a maximum of 4 people.
    • Professional athletes can continue to train, both indoors and outdoors, but these sessions should take place without an audience;
    • Children up to 12 years of age can do sports activities or camps, both indoors and outdoors (and as long as they don’t go in a swimming pool), provided they take place:
      • with a maximum of 50 children;
      • in an organised context, more specifically in a club or an association;
      • in the context of an indoor sport activity or camp organised or authorised by the local authorities;
      • always in the presence of a trainer, coach or adult supervisor;
      • in the presence of not more than one household member per participant.
    • Children up to the age of 12 may participate in school or extra-curricular sports activities of compulsory school education (provided the activity does not take place in a swimming pool) and according to the rules of the applicable protocol.
  • Sports competitions

    Professional sports competitions can only take place without spectators. Non-professional sporting competitions can only take place for participants up to the age of 12. These competitions may only be attended by one member of the participants' household. If a sporting competition is organised on public roads, the prior authorisation of the competent municipal authority is required. Before submitting the application, the organiser must complete the online COVID Event Risk Model (CERM) application (www.covideventriskmodel.be) and attach the obtained certificate to the application file for the competent municipal authority.

    Canteens must be closed.

  • Can private trainers continue their activities?
    Yes, they can continue to work with a maximum of 3 customers in the open air, while respecting the applicable restrictions on gatherings and social distancing measures.
  • Are skateparks open?
    Outdoor sports infrastructures such as skateparks can remain open. The ban on meetings must be respected.
  • CULTURE AND RECREATION

    Facilities (or parts of them) belonging to the cultural, festive and leisure sector are closed to the public. Casinos, amusement arcades, amusement parks, zoos, wellness centres, party and reception venues, indoor playgrounds, night clubs and dance halls, bowling alleys, fun fairs, cinemas, theatres, concert halls and museums are therefore closed. There are a few exceptions to this principle. Can remain open:

    • outdoor playgrounds;
    • the outdoor areas of animal parks and open-air museums, including entrances, exits, sanitary facilities and emergency buildings;
    • libraries, game and multimedia libraries;
    • cultural places, however, only for:
    • groups of children up to the age of 12, as part of compulsory school or extracurricular activities;
    • courses and activities for children up to the age of 12;

    In any case, the following 7 minimum rules must be respected in these establishments:

    1. the operator or organiser must inform its customers and 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;
    3. face masks and other personal protective equipment are always strongly recommended inside the establishment and must be used if the rules of social distancing cannot be complied with, due to the nature of the activity performed;
    4. the activity must be organised in such a way as to avoid gatherings;
    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.
  • Can I rehearse with my amateur theatre company, dance group, orchestra, choir, etc.?

    The only activities still allowed in the non-professional cultural and creative sector are those organised within the framework of camps and activities for children up to the age of 12, and within the framework of compulsory school or extra-curricular activities.

    • activities in the context of camps must be organised in accordance with the rules set out in the “Youth” section below.

    • school and extra-curricular activities follow the protocol in force for education;

    • activities for children organised outside camps and compulsory education always take place

      • with a maximum of 50 children;
      • in an organised context, i.e. by a club or an association,;
      • always in the presence of an adult trainer, coach or supervisor; In addition, the above-mentioned 7 minimum rules must be respected.
  • Can professional artists (such as musicians, actors and comedians) rehearse, record, etc.?
    Teleworking is mandatory for all artists, unless this is not feasible. For activities where teleworking is not possible, compliance with social distancing measures must be guaranteed and a certificate must be provided by the employer.
  • Are cultural performances with an audience allowed?
    No, cultural performances are no longer permitted.
  • Can general meetings or other meetings of clubs or associations, as well as co-owner meetings take place?

    These meetings can no longer be held face-to-face. They must be postponed or carried out remotely (e.g. via video conference).

    With regards co-owner meetings, an evolutionary interpretation of Section 577-6 of the Civil Code allows co-owners to participate remotely in the general meeting (e.g. via video link).

  • Can hunting continue?
    Hunting can continue, but according to the rules that apply to gatherings, i.e. a maximum of four people and with respect for social distancing rules. However, this activity is subject to the curfew rules and, as a result, hunting is not allowed between midnight and 5am. An exception is made for wild boar to limit wild boar population growth.
  • EVENTS
    With the exception of sports competitions that are still allowed (see Sports section), all events are suspended.
  • Can a conference be organised?
    Conference rooms are currently not closed, however, as cultural events with an audience are currently suspended, conference rooms cannot, for example, be used for debates or gatherings with an audience. On the other hand, conference rooms can be used as meeting rooms by companies, public services, etc. to organise professional meetings which cannot be organised remotely. In addition, everyone is obliged to wear a face mask or any other fabric alternative in conference rooms.
  • When should the COVID Event Risk Model be used?
    This application must be used to take a decision relating to the organisation of activities authorised by Article 15 of the Ministerial Decree of 28 October 2020 (e.g. a demonstration or a professional sports competition or a non-professional sports competition for children up to the age of 12) concerning urgent measures to prevent the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19).
  • What about demonstrations?

    Demonstrations on public roads are allowed with a maximum of 100 participants. For demonstrations, permission must always be requested from the competent municipal authority. Before submitting the application, the organiser fills in the online COVID Event Risk Model (CERM) application (www.covideventriskmodel.be) and attaches the complete obtained certificate to the application file for the competent municipal authority.

    In any case, the demonstrations must always be static and take place in a place where the safety distances can be respected. It is compulsory to wear a face mask in all situations where it is impossible to ensure compliance with social distancing rules.

  • RECEPTIONS AND BANQUETS
    Receptions and banquets, including funeral receptions, are prohibited.
  • Can indoor play areas open?
    No, they have to close. Outdoor playgrounds remain open.
  • Are camps, courses and activities as well as activity clubs allowed?
    Camps, courses and activities without an overnight stay, as well as activity clubs, are permitted for children up to the age of 12, in accordance with the applicable protocol. These camps, courses and activities may be organised for one or more groups of up to 50 children up to the age of 12, consisting of participants and supervisors. People gathering in the context of these camps, courses and activities must remain in the same group. Groups are not allowed to mix. Where possible, the supervisors must comply with the social distancing rules, in particular keeping a distance of 1.5m between each person and covering their mouth and nose with a face mask or any other fabric alternative. Specifically for the youth sector there are protocols that can be consulted via the following link: https://ambrassade.be/nl/kennis/artikel/jeugdwerkregels-werkjaar
  • Under what conditions can civil marriages take place?

    These may only take place in the presence of the spouses, their witnesses and the civil registrar. It is not allowed to organise a reception or banquet after the ceremony. In addition, the following minimum rules must be respected:

    1. the operator or organiser must inform its customers and 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;
    3. face masks and other personal protective equipment are always strongly recommended inside the establishment and must be used if the rules of social distancing cannot be complied with, due to the nature of the activity performed;
    4. the activity must be organised in such a way as to avoid gatherings;
    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.
  • WORSHIP SERVICES AND CEREMONIES

    Buildings for worship and buildings intended for the public exercise of non-denominational moral services remain open, but may only be visited by a maximum of 4 people at a time throughout the whole building, provided that they wear a face mask and respect social distancing.

    Notwithstanding, congregational worship and the collective practice of non-denominational moral services and of activities within a philosophical association are prohibited, with the exception of:

    • funerals and cremations, only in the presence of up to 15 people (excluding children up to the age of 12), maintaining a distance of 1.5 metres between each person and without the possibility of the body being exposed and with respect for the 7 minimum rules;
    • marriages, only in the presence of the spouses, their witnesses and the minister of religion and with respect for the 7 minimum rules;
    • worship services and non-denominational moral services recorded with a view to sharing them through all available channels and which take place with a maximum of 10 people, including those responsible for the recording and while maintaining a distance of 1.5 metres between each person. The place of worship or non-denominational moral services must remain closed to the public during the recording.
  • What rules apply to funerals and cremations?

    These can take place but always with respect for the social distancing measures (1.5 meters between individuals) and with a maximum of 15 people (excluding children up to the age of 12) and without the possibility of exposing the body. In addition, the following minimum rules must be respected:

    1. the operator or organiser must inform its customers and 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;
    3. face masks and other personal protective equipment are always strongly recommended inside the establishment and must be used if the rules of social distancing cannot be complied with, due to the nature of the activity performed;
    4. the activity must be organised in such a way as to avoid gatherings;
    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. Organising a light lunch after the ceremony is not permitted.
  • Is it allowed to organise a ceremony somewhere else (for example, outdoors)?
    No, ceremonies are prohibited with the exception of those for funerals, cremations, weddings and recordings which take place according to the above-mentioned modalities.

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
  • Is travelling from Belgium abroad permitted?

    In principle, travelling is allowed, provided that the possible measures on your return to Belgium are respected (always fill in the PLF and, if necessary, also fill in the self-assessment, go into quarantine and get tested). However, travel is not recommended to certain destinations or increased vigilance is required.

    However, entry into the country of destination also depends on the consent of the country in question. All the information for travellers is compiled on the website of the FPS Foreign Affairs on a map supplemented with travel advice for each country: https://diplomatie.belgium.be/en

    The FPS Foreign Affairs uses colour codes on its home page to indicate whether travel to a particular country or zone is possible. On this website, you will find a map and a table, showing the same information, as well as detailed information about each country. Below are the COVID-19 colours, based on information from CELEVAL and the FPS Public Health: Select and click on a country or region. The corresponding measures appear. Then click on the country name for detailed travel advice. Please consult this advice before and during your trip.

    The following colour codes are used:

    • Red: people are being advised not to travel to these countries/zones due to the unfavourable epidemiological situation OR because the country in question does not allow Belgians to enter the territory.

    • Orange: travelling to these countries/zones is possible, however, people are being advised not to travel to these countries/zones due to the unfavourable epidemiological situation. The Belgian authorities recommend increased vigilance.

      • Light Orange: travel is possible, however, the authorities of this country impose a COVID-19 test and/or quarantine on travellers from Belgium.
    • Green: travel is possible without additional restrictions. However, it remains important to follow the travel advice. Hygiene and social distancing rules still apply.

    Travel advice is highly subject to change and travel to a destination may be discouraged at any time. If you are planning to make an essential journey abroad, it is highly recommended to consult the travel advice from Foreign Affairs, which is continually updated: https://diplomatie.belgium.be/en/services/travelling_abroad/travel_advice_by_country

    People travelling abroad should be aware that new COVID-19 breeding grounds abroad can greatly affect their trip and that repatriation cannot be guaranteed if commercial flights are cancelled or borders closed.

  • Travelling to Belgium from abroad: Do you have Belgian nationality or are you a citizen of the EU, the Schengen Area or the UK or resident in Belgium, the EU, the Schengen Area or the UK or a relative of any of the above-mentioned individuals?
    You may always travel or return to Belgium, regardless of the country of departure.
  • Travelling to Belgium from abroad: You do not have Belgian nationality but you are resident of a country outside the EU, the Schengen Area and the UK and you are travelling to Belgium from countries mentioned on the FPS Foreign Affairs website?

    It is possible to travel from these countries to Belgium. Please consult the list at: https://diplomatie.belgium.be/en/services/travel_to_belgium The list is reviewed every two weeks and published thereafter.

    What to do if the country of destination requests a negative COVID-19 test before entry into its territory?

    • You can ask to be tested in a laboratory, but not in the test centres that collaborate with the federal platform (the government asks to avoid these preventive tests as much as possible). Laboratories have the possibility to refuse the analysis of the test in order to give priority to the mandatory testing. These tests (on a voluntary basis) are at your own expense.
    • You can ask to be tested at Brussels Airport by registering in advance via “https://www.brusselsairport.be/nl/passengers/the-impact-of-the-coronavirus/covid-19-test-centre-at-brussels-airport" and by clicking on “Register here for a test without prescription code”.
  • Travelling to Belgium from abroad: You do not have Belgian nationality but you are resident of a country outside the EU, the Schengen Area and the UK and you are travelling to Belgium from countries NOT mentioned on the FPS Foreign Affairs website?

    Non-essential travel from these countries to Belgium is prohibited. Please consult the list at: https://diplomatie.belgium.be/en/services/travel_to_belgium

    The temporary travel restrictions do not apply to key workers or people travelling for compelling reasons such as:

      1. Health professionals, health researchers and professionals providing care for the elderly travelling for work;
      1. Frontier workers travelling for work;
      1. Seasonal agricultural workers travelling for work;
      1. Transport staff travelling for work;
      1. Diplomats, staff of international organisations and people invited by international organisations whose physical presence is required for the proper functioning of those organisations, military staff, Civil Protection staff, police officials and humanitarian staff, when performing their duties;
      1. Passengers in transit, irrespective of where they are travelling from;
      1. Passengers travelling for compelling family reasons, i.e.:
      • travel justified by family reunification
      • visits to a legal spouse or partner, when both do not live together for professional or personal reasons
      • travel to an unregistered partner who does not live under the same roof
      • travel in the context of co-parenting
      • travel in the context of funerals or cremations (kinship = first and second degree)
      • travel in the context of civil and religious marriages (kinship = first and second degree)
      1. Mariners travelling for work;
      1. People travelling for humanitarian reasons;
      • This includes travel for compelling medical reasons or to continue urgent medical treatment as well as to provide assistance or care to an elderly, minor, disabled or vulnerable person;
      1. People travelling for study purposes;
      • This includes travel by pupils, students and trainees who are undergoing training as part of their studies and researchers with a hosting agreement
      1. Highly qualified professionals travelling for economically necessary reasons which cannot be postponed; including professional sportsmen and sportswomen with elite sport status and cultural sector professionals with a combined licence, travelling for work.

    These specific conditions are in addition to the normal conditions of access to Belgium. It is, for instance, important to always take into account which visa procedures are in force. For passengers requiring a visa to come to Belgium, it should be noted that, due to COVID-19, some visa procedures have not (yet) resumed in all places. 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). For more information about this procedure, please go to: https://dofi.ibz.be/sites/dvzoe/EN/Pages/Travel-to-Belgium.aspx

  • May I visit my partner?

    Visiting a partner who does not live under the same roof is considered an essential journey. However, it is subject to a number of additional conditions: prior to the application (citizens of countries requiring a visa) or the planned travel date (citizens of countries not requiring a visa), you must:

    • either provide evidence of having lived together for 6 months in Belgium or another country;
    • or provide evidence of having a 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 visit had to be postponed due to the COVID-19 measures, providing evidence of a planned visit can count for the second visit;
    • or have a child together.

    The partner abroad must apply for a visa or proof of essential travel (if not subject to visa requirements) via the Belgian diplomatic post. Where possible, the diplomatic post will issue these visas or proofs. The file will be handed over to the immigration service should this not be the case.

  • What travel-related measures are in place when travelling from Belgium abroad?

    From a Belgian perspective, there are no measures in place for travelling abroad. However, some countries may adopt restrictive measures. It is therefore extremely important to check the travel advice for each country on the FPS Foreign Affairs website before departure in order to know the situation and the measures taken in the country of destination See: https://diplomatie.belgium.be/en

    What to do if the country of destination requests a negative COVID-19 test before entry into its territory?

    • You can ask to be tested in a laboratory, but not in the test centres that collaborate with the federal platform (the government asks to avoid these preventive tests as much as possible). Laboratories have the possibility to refuse the analysis of the test in order to give priority to the mandatory testing. These tests (on a voluntary basis) are at your own expense.
    • You can ask to be tested at Brussels Airport by registering in advance via “https://www.brusselsairport.be/nl/passengers/the-impact-of-the-coronavirus/covid-19-test- centre-at-brussels-airport” and by clicking on “Register here for a test without prescription code”.
  • What travel-related measures are in place when travelling/returning to Belgium from abroad?

    Upon arrival in Belgium, the following three measures must be adhered to:

    • It is mandatory to fill in the Passenger Locator Form (PLF) with an optional self-assessment
    • Go into quarantine
    • Undergo testing if you have symptoms

    The Belgian approach for people returning from abroad 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 return to Belgium.

    • Red zones are regions or countries where people are at a high risk of infection or which have been placed back into lockdown by the country in question. Upon return, it will be determined whether you should quarantine and should be tested or not through completion of the PLF and self-assessment (optional). See below “Which travellers should go into quarantine and undergo testing”
    • Orange zones are regions or countries for which a moderately elevated risk of infection has been identified. Upon your return, you must complete the PLF. Completing the self-assessment is optional.
    • Orange zones are regions or countries for which a low risk of infection has been identified. When returning from orange or green zones, there are no quarantine or testing conditions upon arrival in Belgium. Upon your return, you must complete the PLF, without the self-assessment. No further measures should be followed.

    The zones and measures are published on a map on the Foreign Affairs website: https://diplomatie.belgium.be.

    • Please note: the colour on the map is the colour of the Belgian travel advice to that country. You must click on the region to see which return conditions apply.

    The Coronalert app is available since 1 October. For more information, please go to: https://coronalert.be/en/faq/

  • When 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 an air or sea 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 document. A separate form must be completed for each passenger aged 16 years and over. The details of children under the age of 16 must be filled in on the form of an accompanying adult, if this is the case. If children under the age of 16 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.
  • Which travellers should go into quarantine and undergo testing?

    People returning from 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.

    From 21 October to 15 November, only people with symptoms should be tested when they return from a red zone.

    Children under the age of 6 should not be tested either, but they must respect quarantine.

    The quarantine period starts on the day after leaving the 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 red zone, unless stipulated otherwise by the treating physician/decree of the federated entities.

    The quarantine period ends 10 days after the last day the traveller was in a red zone and is followed by a period of 4 days of increased vigilance. If symptoms occur during quarantine, the person must, of course, be tested. If the test is positive, the person concerned must self-isolate at least 7 days from the date of onset of symptoms.

    The obligation to go into quarantine can be waived on the basis of the optional Coronavirus Infection Risk Self-Assessment Questionnaire as part of the Passenger Locator Form.

    • Based on the completed Passenger Locator Form, you will be notified via text message whether you should quarantine.
    • The red zones are published on a map on the Foreign Affairs website: https://diplomatie.belgium.be.
  • Are there any exceptions for the quarantine?

    The obligation to go into quarantine when returning from a red zone can be waived on the basis of the optional Coronavirus Infection Risk Self-Assessment Questionnaire as part of the Passenger Locator Form. The obligation to go into quarantine can be temporarily lifted in order to fulfil an essential activity but only if this activity cannot be postponed.

    • For example: a foreign student must stay in quarantine for two weeks before starting his/her studies, a person travelling to a funeral can attend the funeral, however, he/she must stay in quarantine for the remainder of his/her stay.
    • During these activities, social distancing and other protective measures must be respected at all times.
    • For any other reasons not linked to the essential activity, quarantine must be respected.

    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.

  • Who should be tested?

    From 21 October to 15 November, people who have no symptoms when they return from a red zone do not have to be tested. Only people with symptoms should be tested.

    If you return from a country or a region in a red zone:

    • You have symptoms: mandatory test
    • You have no symptoms: Fill out the Passenger Locator Form and self-evaluation 48 hours prior to your arrival. This form will evaluate the risk of infection by the coronavirus.
      • High risk: You will receive guidelines for going into quarantine for 10 days (for more information on quarantine, see “A. Quarantine”).
      • Low risk: no quarantine upon arrival.

    Children under the age of 6 should not be tested, but they must respect quarantine.

  • 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 1.5m).

    • 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, as long as particular attention is paid to social distancing and hygienic measures and a (fabric) face mask is worn:

      • Urgent medical attention;
      • Purchase of basic necessities, such as food and medicines, but only if no one else can provide them and by exception;
      • Settling urgent legal/financial issues;

    Quarantine versus isolation: the difference If you are required to go into isolation, it is for a period of 7 days. That’s what happens when you’re ill or have tested positive. From the moment the symptoms appear, you will be contagious for no more than 7 days. 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.
  • Quarantine versus isolation: the difference

    If you are required to go into isolation, it is for a period of 7 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 7 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.
  • 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.