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Travelling from outside the EU or Schengen Area

These measures are valid until 30 June. You can read more about the measures concerning travel from 1 July here.

Essential travel from a third country to Belgium applies to travellers who do not have the nationality of a country of the European Union or the Schengen zone, and who have their main residence in a third country not listed on this list.

What types of travel are essential?

  • Health professionals, health researchers and professionals providing care for the elderly who are travelling for work;
  • Frontier workers travelling for work;
  • Seasonal agricultural and horticultural workers travelling for work;
  • Transport personnel travelling for work;
  • Diplomats, staff members of international organisations and people invited by international organisations and institutions whose physical presence is required for the proper functioning of those organisations and institutions, military personnel and personnel belonging to the forces of law and order, customs authorities, intelligence services and magistrates travelling for professional purposes, as well as humanitarian and civil protection staff, when performing their duties;
  • Travel for transit purposes to destinations outside the Schengen Area and the European Union;
  • Travel for compelling family reasons, namely:
    • travel that is justified for the purpose of family reunification, as defined in the Law of 15 December 1980 on the entry, stay, settlement and removal of foreign nationals;
    • visits to a spouse or partner who does not live under the same roof, insofar as plausible evidence can be provided of the stable and long-term character of the relationship;
    • travel in the context of co-parenting (including treatment related to medically assisted reproduction);
    • travel in the context of burials or cremations of first or second-degree relatives;
    • travel in the context of civil or religious weddings of first or second-degree relatives.
  • Mariners travelling for work;
  • Travel for humanitarian reasons (including travel for compelling medical reasons or to continue urgent medical treatment, but also in order to provide assistance or care to an elderly person, a minor, a disabled person or a vulnerable person);
  • Study-related travel such as travel by pupils, students or trainees who are undergoing education or training as part of their studies, or study-related travel by researchers with a hosting agreement;
  • Travel undertaken by qualified professionals for economically necessary reasons which cannot be postponed; including professional sportsmen and sportswomen with elite sport status, cultural sector professionals with a combined licence and journalists travelling for work;
  • Travel by persons coming to Belgium to work in salaried employment, including young au pairs, irrespective of the duration of their activity, on condition that they have been authorised to do so by the competent Region (employment authorisation or evidence that the conditions for exemption have been fulfilled);
  • Travel by persons coming to Belgium to work as a self-employed person, irrespective of the duration of their activity, on condition that they have been authorised to do so by the competent Region (valid professional card or evidence that the conditions for exemption have been fulfilled).

Are you travelling from India, South Africa or Brazil? You are not allowed to travel to Belgium unless you have Belgian nationality, your main residence is in Belgium or for the following essential journeys:

  • Transport personnel, freight and cargo personnel and mariners travelling for work, provided that they have a certificate from the employer;
  • A trip undertaken by diplomats, staff of international organisations and people invited by international organisations whose physical presence is required for the proper functioning of those organisations when performing their duties, provided that they hold an essential travel certificate issued by the Belgian diplomatic mission or consular post.

What must I do?

If travelling for an essential reason, you must fulfil the following requirements:

  1. You must have a negative PCR test that was carried out at the earliest 72 hours before your departure from a red zone to Belgium.
  • You can find further information about this in the frequently asked questions – “When should I have a negative test result to travel to Belgium?"
  • Exception: if you will be spending less than 48 hours in Belgium or if you are not travelling by air or boat or if you are not travalling by train or bus from a country outside the EU or the Schengen Area, no PCR test is required.
  1. You have a visa or an essential travel document that you can obtain from the embassy or diplomatic post.

  2. Are you staying in Belgium for more than 48 hours or are you coming to Belgium by air or boat, or by train or bus from a country outside the EU or the Schengen Area? Fill in the Passenger Locator Form at the earliest 48 hours before you arrive in Belgium.

  • Based on the answers you give and the colour code of the country you are departing from, the form will work out whether you are regarded as a high-risk contact.
    • Did you receive a text message? If so, you are a high-risk contact. You must quarantine and get yourself tested on day 7 of quarantine. You will receive a code for this by text message. Quarantine and testing are mandatory. Those who do not abide by the rules risk a fine of EUR 250.
    • What if you didn’t receive a text message? You do not have to quarantine and you do not need to get tested.
  1. Are you travelling from the United Kingdom, South Africa, South America or India? You will need to quarantine. Get tested on day 7 of quarantine. You will receive a text message. Quarantine and testing are mandatory. Those who do not abide by the rules risk a fine of EUR 250.

Attention: if the police services suspect that the PLF or proof of a negative COVID-19 test have been falsified, an official report will be drawn up. This official report will be forwarded to the public prosecutor. This is considered to be a serious offence with fraudulent intent. The coronavirus strategy depends on the authenticity of these documents. A direct summons to appear before the criminal court will be issued where there is sufficient proof of fraud whilst accounting for any mitigating circumstances.