The Belgian authorities announced through the latest ministerial decision that the country will lift the non-essential travel ban after April 18.
According to the decree, from April 19, citizens of Belgium will not be subject to a travel ban upon arrival to other countries in the European Union and the Schengen area, TheSchengen.com reports.
Part of the decree says: “Non-essential travel within the European Union and the Schengen Area from April 19, 2021, thanks to other measures taken in the meantime, should become possible again.”
A non-essential travel ban was previously imposed on citizens of Belgium in order to prevent people from going on holidays and contracting the virus.
For this reason, it has been clarified that the ban on non-essential travel will remain in place until April 18 to avoid large numbers of people traveling abroad during the Easter holiday.
Once the holiday ends, travelers will be subject to concessional rules provided the COVID-19 situation does not worsen.
“The ban on non-essential travel is not suspended until April 18, 2021, particularly in light of the Easter holiday when an increased number of flights may pose an additional risk to import variants,” the decree further reads.
However, the responsible authorities have not provided any additional information about the rules that will be applied once the ban is lifted.
Belgium’s Prime Minister, Alexandre de Croo, has said the country will likely establish a new system of testing and self-isolation, indicating that the authorities are working on a new scheme. However, it is believed that the new rules will not be announced at least until March.
Apart from announcing the lifting of the travel ban, the Belgian authorities have also revealed new rules regarding the validity of vaccination certificates. After its meeting on January 12, the Belgian advisory committee announced that from March 1, the validity of vaccination cards will be reduced from 270 to 150 days.
Such a decision was made in order to get more people to get an extra dose and means that everyone with a vaccination certificate indicating that the last dose was taken more than 150 days ago will be considered unvaccinated.
On the other hand, those receiving a booster dose will be able to travel under the concessional rules.
The validity of vaccination certificates has also been shortened by many other countries. Austria and Switzerland are just some of them.