New rules for residents returning to Belgium

New rules for residents returning to Belgium
Illustration picture shows a police officer checking a person in a car at the border between Belgium and France in April 2020. © BELGA/BENOIT DOPPAGNE

The latest update to Belgium's coronavirus rules - more here - have provided some more information on how travel will look for those looking to arrive in the country from various zones as of 1 July.

While non-EU non-residents have been given specific rules, the requirements are slightly different for residents and are more based on the colour coded zones we have come to know.

They are:

Returning from a green or orange zone: no obligation to quarantine or test.

Returning from a red zone: No quarantine if fully vaccinated (+ 2 weeks), recently tested negative with PCR test (< 72 hours) or possessing a recovery certificate do not need to be quarantined.

Those who tested immediately upon arrival (day 1 or day 2) do not need to be quarantined. A negative PCR test is requested for persons from 12 years of age. Children under the age of 12 are exempt from the testing requirement.

Returning from a "very high risk zone": Mandatory 10-day quarantine with PCR test on day 1 and day 7. This obligation also applies to persons who have been fully vaccinated or who have already passed a negative test in the country itself.

While not expressly said it is understood that these measures would also apply for residents travelling outside of the EU, although such travel remains "strongly discouraged."

These changes according to the statement from De Croo, "will be possible on the basis of the European digital corona certificate."

"The certificate will be used in all EU countries from 1 July and is proof that someone has been vaccinated against corona, has tested negative for corona or has recovered from corona."

Belgium is among a list of European Union countries “technically ready” to connect to the technical gateway system to implement the European Union’s “Digital Green Certificate”, facilitating free movement within the EU during the pandemic.

Seven countries, including Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Germany, Greece, Croatia, and Poland, have already connected to the gateway to verify the certificates and have started issuing the first certificates, the European Commission said in a press release on Tuesday.

The next Consultation Committee is scheduled for 11 June and will, among other things, discuss further implementation of the Summer Plan from 1 July.

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