No more colour codes: Belgium simplifies travel rules from Friday

No more colour codes: Belgium simplifies travel rules from Friday
Credit: Belga

From Friday 18 February, Belgium will no longer take into account the colour codes of incoming travellers' country of origin, but only their individual vaccine, test or recovery status.

All travellers entering Belgium must show proof of a valid Covid-19 vaccination, test or recovery from Friday, regardless of where they are coming from, a spokesperson for Federal Health Minister Frank Vandenbroucke confirmed to The Brussels Times.

This applies to travellers wanting to enter Belgium from EU/Schengen countries, as well as those arriving from non-EU countries, such as the United Kingdom, the United States or Japan, Vandenbroucke said at the Consultative Committee press conference last Friday.

"We will look at how people have protected themselves instead of where they come from," he said. "That means that we will no longer work with colour codes, and we will no longer look at whether you are from a European country or not.”

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However, non-vaccinated people coming from a non-EU country can still only enter Belgium for essential travel (not as tourists), and only if they can present a valid recovery certificate or a recent negative test result.

Travellers coming from a country on the list of "very high risk" countries will still be banned from entering Belgian territory for at least 14 days. Currently, there are no countries on this list.

As announced previously by the European Commission, travellers' vaccination certificates will soon only remain valid for 270 days (nine months) without a booster dose. For those who received a booster, the validity is unlimited.

For those travelling with a test certificate, passengers who use a rapid antigen test have to make sure it was not taken more than 24 hours ago (instead of 36 hours previously). PCR tests remain valid for 72 hours.

Additionally, the country's different health ministers have been asked to simplify the testing and quarantine measures for travellers as well. This is expected to be discussed at the Interministerial Conference (IMC) on Health on Wednesday, said Vandenbroucke.

An overview of all other coronavirus rules that will change in Belgium on Friday 18 February can be found here.

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