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Travelling from outside the EU or Schengen Area

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.

This information applies to persons who do not live in the EU or the Schengen Area and who do not live in a country included on this website. Non-essential travel to Belgium is forbidden for persons whose primary residence is located in another country.

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).

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.
  1. You have a visa or an essential travel document that you can obtain from the embassy.

  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.
    • What if you didn’t receive a text message? You do not have to quarantine.
    • Did you complete the paper version of the Passenger Locator Form? If so, you will be contacted by phone.
  1. Are you travelling from the United Kingdom, South Africa or South America? You will need to quarantine for 10 days. Get tested on day 1 and day 7 of quarantine. You will receive a text message.