Belgium advised to only allow entry to fully vaccinated travellers
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Belgium advised to only allow entry to fully vaccinated travellers

Credit: Belga

Belgium’s different health ministers only want to allow entry to travellers who have been fully vaccinated against the coronavirus first, they stated in official advice to Friday’s Consultative Committee.

If Belgium adopts this advice, formulated by the Interministerial Health Conference made up of the country’s different health ministers, it will follow the reasoning of most other European countries when implementing the EU Digital Covid Certificate.

“If many countries indeed say that two shots are necessary, then this will probably also become the general rule in Belgium,” Federal Public Health Minister Frank Vandenbroucke told VRT.

The same rule will likely also apply to Belgian residents who want to travel to another European country: people who have not been fully vaccinated, will have to show a negative PCR test result.

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Additionally, individual Members States are allowed to impose slightly different entry conditions, but as several committees and sector organisations already urged EU members not to do so, it seems unlikely to happen.

Seven countries – Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Germany, Greece, Croatia, and Poland – have already started issuing the first certificates, according to the European Commission.

When implemented across the EU, the Certificate will allow travellers to show the country they are entering that they have been vaccinated, have a recent negative PCR Covid-19 test, or have been infected in the past, and are therefore immune.

What will happen with Belgian residents coming back from a journey in a red travel zone is not entirely clear yet, but it is likely that returning travellers who have received two vaccinations will not have to quarantine.

Those who have only had one shot (except for if it was the single-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine, of course) or have not (yet) been vaccinated will have to submit a negative PCR test.

On Friday, Belgium’s Consultative Committee will officially decide on the travel rules for entering and leaving the country, taking into account the EU ‘Digital Covid Certificate’ for travel, which is expected to be implemented on 1 July.

Before that can happen, however, the agreement will be tabled to vote at the plenary session between 7 and 10 June, before being approved by the Council, and published in the Official Journal.