Belgium relaxes conditions for uniting unmarried cross-border couples
Thursday, 24 September 2020
The conditions imposed on unmarried cross-border couples to be able to travel and meet again were relaxed on Wednesday by the National Security Council (NSC), the office of Prime Minister Sophie Wilmès announced.
From now on, physically separated couples will be required to “prove at least six months of living together, one year of relationship or, as before, the existence of a child together,” the Prime Minister’s office announced.
At the end of August, Wilmès said that unmarried couples separated by borders due to coronavirus travel restrictions could meet again from September 1, provided they comply with the rules of testing and quarantine and only if they prove the reality of their relationship.
The partner from abroad could enter Belgium if they could prove legal cohabitation for at least one year, that the relationship has existed for at least two years, or that the couple has a child, for example.
Cross-border couples were not happy with the original rules, gathering in Brussels a few days after the original rules were announced to protest the criteria, calling them “old-fashioned”, “arbitrary” and “too strict.”