Belgian authorities have announced that the country will soon relax its travel rules for incoming travelers.
From Friday, February 18, Belgium will no longer apply entry rules based on the country of origin a person is traveling from. Instead, rules will apply based on individual rules, focusing on travelers’ vaccination and recovery status, TheSchengen.com reports.
“The color code of the country of origin is no longer taken into account for incoming travelers. People who do not have their main place of residence in Belgium and who are traveling to our country from EU / Schengen countries or other countries, must from now on have a certificate of vaccination, test or Retrieval of the mast”, as stated in the statement of the Belgian authorities.
This means that all travelers arriving in Belgium will still be required to present a valid certificate indicating that the carrier has been vaccinated, tested or recovered from the virus.
Federal Health Minister Frank Vandenbroek also announced the relaxation of entry rules into Belgium. Last week, he said Belgium would no longer discriminate between people traveling from EU countries and those traveling from third countries.
This statement indicates that, with the exception of travelers from the EU/Schengen area, travelers from third countries, including the United States and the United Kingdom, will also be permitted to enter the country under the facilitated entry rules.
However, authorities have confirmed that third-country travelers who have not been vaccinated are still denied entry for travel purposes. Non-vaccinated travelers from outside the EU can only enter for essential purposes provided they present a negative test result or a certificate of refund upon entry.
Travelers planning to arrive in Belgium should note that, similar to other EU countries, Belgium has also shortened the validity of vaccination certificates. In line with the EU Commission’s recommendation, Belgium only recognizes vaccination cards that prove that the holder has completed the initial vaccination within the last 270 days (nine months).
On the other hand, it was shown that those who received an additional vaccine dose, also known as the booster vaccine, had unlimited validity.
Earlier, the Belgian authorities announced that the country would also lift some national restrictions related to the coronavirus. From February 18, the state will have no closing hours, which means the catering industry will have no restrictions on its opening hours.