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Overlegcomité / Comité de concertation: ban on tourist travel and quarantine extended

The federal and state governments of Belgium discussed the Covid-19 situation today in the Overlegcomité / Comité de concertation. In order to prevent the import and further spread of new virus variants, it was decided to temporarily ban travel for recreational-tourism purposes to and from Belgium.

Restriction of non-essential travel

Travel for leisure-tourism purposes to and from Belgium will be prohibited from Wednesday 27 January to Monday 1 March 2021. The travel ban will be monitored for road, air, sea and rail traffic.


Anyone travelling to and from Belgium must be in possession of documentation that declares their need to travel. A form will be made available by the Minister of Binnenlandse Zaken. The 'verklaring op eer' (declaration of honour) must be linked to the Passenger Location Form and supported by the necessary documents.


During the period of the ban, only essential travel is allowed. In concrete terms, this concerns travel due to:


Compelling family reasons:

  • family reunification;

  • visits to a spouse or partner who does not live under the same roof, insofar as plausible proof of a stable and permanently maintained relationship can be provided;

  • trips for co-parenting, civil and religious weddings, funerals or cremations (of relatives or next of kin).

Humanitarian reasons:

  • relocations for medical reasons and continuation of medical treatment;

  • assistance to an elderly, minor, disabled or vulnerable person;

  • visiting relatives in palliative care;

Study reasons:

  • pupils, students and trainees on exchange within the framework of their studies;

  • researchers with a hosting agreement.

Residents of border regions:

  • trips as part of daily life for activities that are also allowed in Belgium;

Professional reasons for exercising the professional activity.


Various:

  • care for animals;

  • journeys related to legal obligations (insofar as they cannot be made electronically);

  • urgent repairs relating to the safety of a vehicle, and

  • moving house.

Travellers from the United Kingdom, South Africa and South America

As of Monday 25 January, all travellers coming from the UK, South Africa and South America to Belgium will be required to spend 10 days in quarantine with a PCR test on day 1 and day 7.


Double test on entry

The Overlegcomité / Comité de concertation wants every non-resident traveller to Belgium to be tested again upon arrival in Belgium, in addition to the mandatory negative test prior to departure. This can be done with a PCR test or a rapid antigen test. The Overlegcomité / Comité de concertation asks the Interministeriële Conferentie Volksgezondheid, the Taskforce Testing and the COVID-commissariaat to make this a reality.


Extended quarantine

People who test positive for COVID-19 will have to isolate themselves for ten days from now on. After a high-risk contact or travel to our country, the quarantine period remains ten days. This period can be shortened to a minimum of seven days on condition that the negative test was taken seven days after exposure at the earliest.


Perspective for non-medical contact professions

In the current state of the pandemic, a reopening of non-medical contact professions is not yet appropriate.


An opening is possible from 13 February at the earliest, provided that the situation continues to improve. The Overlegcomité / Comité de concertation will evaluate this situation on 5 February.


Moreover, the non-medical contact professions can only be opened if the existing protocols are strictly observed, supplemented by a series of additional measures, such as the obligation to make an appointment, compulsory registration, customers waiting outside and windows and doors that must be open at all times.


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