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Belgium to Relax National COVID-19 Rules – No More Closing Hours

Belgian authorities have announced that the country will soon lift some of its national coronavirus restrictions.

According to the latest update published by the Belgian government, the advisory committee has decided to lift the current lockdown hours rule on February 18. This means that the catering industry, including bars and restaurants, will have no restrictions on their operating hours.

In addition, it was announced that the nightlife will open again as well as all indoor and outdoor events will be allowed, TheSchengen.com reports.

Regardless of the above, working from home will no longer be mandatory, which means that everyone will be able to return to their workplace.

“From February 18 in the morning, the aura scale will turn orange. The advisory committee decided so. For example, the closing time in the food industry will disappear, and the nightlife can open again. All indoor and outdoor public events are also allowed. A statement reads. Belgian authorities that teleworking are no longer mandatory but still recommended.

According to the authorities, the decision to lift these national measures has been made as the number of new infections has decreased over the past two weeks. In addition, it was observed that the number of new hospitalizations also showed a downward trend.

For travelers who want to visit Belgium, the authorities have made it clear that a person-based approach will continue to apply. This means that Belgium applies rules based on a person’s vaccination/cured status rather than the category the traveler’s home country is placed on.

Travelers from the European Union and the Schengen area as well as from other countries, who hold a valid vaccination or recovery certificate, can enter Belgium without having to follow additional entry rules. However, they will have to fill out an access form.

In contrast, stricter rules apply to non-vaccinated and non-exempt travelers, and they are required to submit to additional entry requirements. However, the rules differ depending on the country from which a person arrives in Belgium.

Similar to other EU/Schengen area countries, Belgium has also shortened the validity of vaccination certificates. The vaccination certificate is valid in Belgium as long as the document proves that the holder has received the last dose of the vaccine within the last 270 days. On the other hand, those who got a booster dose had an unlimited shelf life.

Aside from Belgium, several other countries have also decided to ease some of their national restrictions:

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Source: schengenvisainfo.com

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