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Belgium resumes flights to and from UK from tomorrow

Credit: Belga

From tomorrow (Wednesday 23 December), Brussels Airlines will start operating its flights between the United Kingdom and Brussels as planned again, but not for all travellers.

From Wednesday, passenger travel from the UK to Belgium is allowed again for people with the Belgian nationality, for those who have their main residence in the country, or travellers in transit.

Additionally, a limited number of “strictly necessary non-postponable journeys” can also happen from the UK to Belgium again, according to the latest Ministerial Decree published by Interior Minister Annelies Verlinden.

“In that case, passengers must provide a certificate with proof of one of these essential reasons for travelling,” Brussels Airlines spokesperson Maaike Andries told The Brussels Times.

“We have received a list of reasons which are valid from the authorities, and boarding is only allowed if one of these reasons can be proved with a certificate,” she added.

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Professional journeys of health workers, movements of transport personnel, journeys of diplomats or staff of international organisations whose physical presence is absolutely necessary (such as military personnel, civil protection and humanitarian workers), and journalists are still allowed.

Lastly, compelling family reasons are also a valid reason to travel from the UK to Belgium.

“In that case, it concerns journeys justifying family reunification, visits to a legal spouse or partner when both do not live together for professional or personal reasons, journeys in the context of co-parenting, and in the context of funerals or cremations where there is evidence of first or second-degree kinship,” Andries said.

Additionally, on both departure and arrival, stricter checks on correctly completing Belgium’s Passenger Locator Form (PLF) will be carried out, according to Verlinden.

Travellers in transit, who will travel to another destination from Brussels, have to be in order with all the necessary documents required on their final destination before boarding.

Starting from 25 December, non-residents will also be required to show a negative Covid-19 test – carried out a maximum of 48 hours earlier – before boarding. “This has to be a PCR test, other tests are currently not accepted,” she added.

For people who want to travel from Belgium to the UK – against official advice from the Belgian authorities – there are no additional restrictions, and all passengers will be accepted, provided they meet possible conditions imposed by the UK.

On Monday 21 and Tuesday 22 December, Belgium imposed an entry ban for travellers coming from the United Kingdom – by train, plane or boat – as “a precaution” due to a new variant of the coronavirus discovered in the UK, which saw parts of the country return to strict lockdown measures for the holiday period.

Maïthé Chini
The Brussels Times