Belgium turns fully red on European travel map

Belgium turns fully red on European travel map
Credit: Belga

Belgium is now coloured fully red after Flanders became the last of the country's regions to change from the less-affected orange code in the latest update from the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC).

Wallonia had already turned red on 19 August and Flanders now follows suit in the latest update, which saw the map as a whole become more orange and red as infections spread across Europe. The Brussels-Capital Region retains its dark red colour from the previous update.

According to the most recent figures from Sciensano, Flanders has an incidence rate – the number of new cases per 100,000 inhabitants – of 241.6 and a positivity rate of 4.5%.

Additionally, as Belgium uses the colour codes to determine who should be tested when entering the country, foreign tourists might be deterred from travelling to the country.

Every Thursday, the ECDC publishes a colour-coded map of Europe based on the number of infections and the percentage of positive tests over the last fourteen days, with the ‘safest’ regions coloured green. The most high-risk areas are coloured dark red.

A region is given the colour red if the 14-day incidence rate exceeds 75 cases per 100,000 inhabitants and the positivity ratio exceeds 4%. Another condition for receiving the red colour code is if the incidence is above 200, regardless of the positivity ratio.

The European colour codes are an indication for the EU Member States to impose conditions on returning travellers, such as mandatory testing or quarantine. The colours are also taken into account for the admission of travellers to their own countries.

Member States cannot impose extra restrictions on travellers coming from a green area, but they could demand a negative test and/or quarantine from (unvaccinated) people coming from orange or red zones.

From 31 August, non-vaccinated people aged 12 and over who do not have a recovery certificate must be tested if they return to Belgium from a red zone, on day 1 as well as on day 7 of their return.

Quarantine between the two tests is not necessary, except for people who test positive, and will therefore have to self-isolate, according to the latest update to the rules.

All travellers wishing to enter Belgium after more than 48 hours abroad are required to complete the Passenger Locator Form (PLF), regardless of the colour code of the zone they return from.

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