How Belgium lifting its travel ban for red zones impacts travellers
Share article:
Share article:

How Belgium lifting its travel ban for red zones impacts travellers

Credit: Belga

Travelling from Belgium to destinations the country marked as red zones will no longer be forbidden from Friday, and instead become “strongly discouraged,” but what impact does that change have on travellers?

As Belgium’s official ban on non-essential travel to red zones will be lifted at the end of this week, sanctions (such as fines) can no longer be imposed on travellers who do decide to go to these destinations

The change, however, does not mean that the other rules for red travel zones will also no longer be applicable, according to Marie Cherchari, spokesperson for the Foreign Affairs Ministry.

“Before returning to Belgium, the Passenger Locator Form still has to be filled out. People returning from a red zone are still required to get tested and to quarantine,” she told The Brussels Times, adding that this will remain required by law after Friday as well.

Related News:

 

This decision could also have an impact on Belgian travellers who get into trouble abroad, according to Cherchari. “People in red zones have deliberately ignored firm advice against going there. They can of course still call on the Belgian embassy, but the embassy is not required to offer these travellers consular assistance,” she said.

Additionally, insurance companies also often pass the responsibility on to the traveller in these cases.

The change was announced by Foreign Affairs Minister Philippe Goffin on Tuesday, and puts Belgium in line with other EU countries which should help to work greater coordination at the European level, he said.

Belgium had so far been the only country in the EU to formally ban travel to red zone destinations, rather than just strongly advise against them.

The decision follows news that an EU-wide travel recommendations system is in the works, in an effort to bring clarity to travellers and as well as travel operators.

Goffin said that there still remained “a lot of work to do” before the system would be in place, but that the decision to align Belgium with other countries’ approach was “an important step towards real coordination.”

Maïthé Chini
The Brussels Times

Latest news

Anti-vaxxers demonstrate against Covid Safe Ticket in Brussels
Hundreds of supporters of the anti-vaxx movement gathered on Saturday outside the headquarters of the Pfizer pharmaceutical company to protest ...
Belgium’s investment funds total 260 billion euros in assets
Belgium’s funds industry grew by 5.3% (13 billion euros) in the second quarter of this year, bringing investment funds available to the public to ...
Brussels to Luxembourg by train in two hours soon possible
The fastest train ride between Brussels and Luxembourg currently takes almost three hours, but that could be slashed to about two hours thanks to the ...
Daily Covid infections up by almost 30% in Belgium
Between 6 and 12 October, an average of 2,438 people were infected with the Covid-19 virus every day, according to figures from the Sciensano public ...
Over 80,000 companies in Belgium non-compliant with anti-money laundering meassures
Over 80,000 companies and non-profits in Belgium are still not compliant with the Ultimate Business Owner (UBO) register, which is required of them ...
Increase in tax exemption for donations in Belgium fails to meet expectations
The increase from 45% to 60% in the tax exemption for donations, decided by the former federal government in June 2020, has cost Belgium more than ...
Sex workers in Belgium to get more social rights protection
The social rights of sex workers will soon be better protected in Belgium, Belga News Agency reports. The Council of Ministers has approved a draft ...
Belgian firms sent almost 266 billion euros to tax havens last year
Hundreds of Belgian firms sent close to 266 billion euros to tax havens last year, De Tijd reported on Saturday. Any Belgian individual or firm ...
Belgian investigator wins prestigious US prize
Olivier Hardy, an investigator with the federal police’s anti-terrorist unit in Brussels, DR3, received on Friday a "Top Cop" prize in Washington for ...
Pegasus Project: European Parliament awards journalism prize to investigation of use of spyware
The Daphne Caruana Prize for Journalism was awarded on Thursday to the journalists from the Pegasus Project coordinated by the Forbidden Stories ...
Belgians can now test their knowledge of driving rules and win prizes
The Walloon Road Safety Agency (AWSR) launched on Friday a quiz to allow the general public to test their knowledge of the highway code. Last year, ...
600 extras wanted for film about Belgian ‘Porn King’ and notorious Antwerp nightclub
A Belgian movie telling the story of a notorious Antwerp nightclub with connections to a Belgian 'Porn King' is looking for 600 extras at the end of ...