Travel to and from Belgium
Last updated on 01-07-21.
Since 1 July it has been easier to travel within the EU thanks to the Covid certificate, also referred to as the EU-COVID certificate or Covid pass. Many countries work with colour codes and each individual country is at liberty to determine these codes and any resulting restrictions. These colour codes are continuously updated. It is advisable, therefore, to check the rules in Belgium and in the country of destination before you leave. What are the consequences if you have planned a trip to a country in an orange or red zone?
Which trips are allowed?
Are you a Belgian resident?
Whatever the reason for your trip, you are free to travel within the EU and certain other countries. Travel to a red zone is very much discouraged. Depending on the colour code assigned to your travel destination by Belgium, you will have to complete a number of formalities upon your return to Belgium. What are these formalities? For more information visit the info-coronavirus.be website. Also bear in mind the rules and formalities that apply at your destination. Some European countries impose measures such as a PCR test or quarantine. These measures depend on the colour code assigned to the country or sometimes region where you will be staying. For more information on current entry restrictions and conditions, please consult the FPS Foreign Affairs and European Union websites.
Remember to take your COVID certificate with you, either in digital or paper format. This Covid pass, which took effect on 1 July 2021, will enable you to prove that you have been vaccinated, that you have taken a negative PCR test, or that you recovered from Covid-19 within the past 6 months.
Are you not a resident of Belgium?
The rules you must comply with depend upon the country of departure and the colour that Belgium has assigned to it.
Are you arriving (returning) from an EU country or from the Schengen area? Bar a few exceptions, these countries are currently all coded green.
Are you arriving (returning) from a country outside Europe? Only a few countries were allocated a green or orange colour code. Visit the info-coronavirus.be website to consult the list. Non-European countries not included in this list are automatically coded red. Some countries with code red are considered particularly high risk. Travel from these countries is consequently prohibited except in certain circumstances (e.g. if your main residence is in Belgium and you comply with certain conditions such as the PCR test and/or quarantine).
If you are allowed to travel to Belgium, you will have to comply with a number of formalities. What are these formalities? For more information visit info-coronavirus.be.
Have you booked already? What happens now?
Which locations can you visit and what are the conditions you have to comply with? Always follow the advice provided by the FPS Foreign Affairs and remember to check the colour codes (green, orange and red). Has a travel destination been designated red? If so, travel to the country in question will be very much discouraged but not prohibited.
Have you booked a pre-organised package holiday? We need to distinguish between different circumstances here:
- Did you book via a Belgian travel agent or tour operator?
Has your travel destination been advised against by the FPS Foreign Affairs? Your trip will most probably be cancelled and you will be entitled to a refund for the cost of your trip.
- Did you book via a travel agent or tour operator abroad?
Your trip was set to depart from Belgium but your travel destination was advised against by the FPS Foreign Affairs? If so, your trip will most probably be cancelled and you will be entitled to a refund for the cost of your trip.
- Have you booked via a foreign travel agent or tour operator and were you set to depart from a location abroad?
Unfortunately, this situation is not as straightforward. Companies abroad often don’t consider negative travel advice from other countries concerning the country of departure to be applicable to the travel agreement. Check the terms of your travel agreement for more information on the applicable cancellation policies. Try invoking Force Majeure.
Have you only booked an air ticket? The colour code assigned to your travel destination will be irrelevant. You can only request a refund if the flight is cancelled by the airline or if the general terms and conditions applicable to your ticket provide for a refund. If this does not apply to your flight, you will not be entitled to a refund and we recommend that you seek a solution in conjunction with the airline, e.g. a credit note, postponement of your trip, etc.
Have you only booked accommodation at the travel destination or only a service such as car rental? Again, the colour of your travel destination is not important. What matters is whether your travel destination allows for the booked service to be provided.
- The booked service cannot be provided
You will normally be entitled to a credit note or a refund in accordance with the applicable rules.
- The booked service can be provided
A refund will solely be subject to the terms of your reservation or the service provider’s goodwill. You will have to negotiate with the other party if the terms of your reservation do not provide for a cancellation or amendment free of charge.
Not observing the rules? You risk incurring sanctions
Anyone travelling to Belgium must respect a number of rules imposed by Belgium. For example, if you travel (back) to Belgium, you will have to complete a Passenger Locator Form, have a PCR test and, where applicable, observe a period of quarantine. Obviously, there are consequences for non-compliance, including a €250 fine per person.
Full details of these measures can be found on the government website.
You can also contact the FPS Foreign Affairs by telephone (0800 14689) or by e-mail (firstname.lastname@example.org) with any questions concerning travel restrictions in force in Belgium and abroad.