Belgium sets new rules for travel returns from ‘high risk areas’

Travelers returning to Belgium from “high-risk” areas in the EU or Schengen, who are not fully vaccinated, will be required to take a PCR test on the first and seventh day of arrival. [Shutterstock/EQRoy]

Travelers returning to Belgium from “high-risk” areas in the EU or Schengen, and who are not fully vaccinated will be required to take a PCR coronavirus test on the first and seventh day after arrival.

If the result is positive, they will be required to quarantine for 10 days.

The day-one test is not necessary if the person took a PCR test in the 72 hours preceding their arrival on Belgian soil.

Additionally, checks will be stepped up at airports and train stations to check that Passenger Locator Forms (PLF) are correctly completed by travelers.

“Today no Schengen country is on this list, but this situation could very well evolve,” Prime Minister Alexander De Croo said during Monday’s Consultative Committee meeting. “In this case we should be able to act quickly.”

“Personally, my advice is that if you want to go to Spain, you have to be fully vaccinated. Portugal and Spain are countries where I would not go if I am not fully vaccinated,” Health Minister Frank Vandenbroucke said.

Additionally, from 13 August, a ‘COVID Safe Ticket’ – which will prove whether a person has been fully vaccinated, antibodies from a recent infection, or a negative PCR test result within the past 48 hours – will allow access to major events in Belgium bringing together more than 1,500 people outdoors. Those fulfilling the criteria will not be required to wear a mask or keep safe distancing.

From 1 September, the scheme is anticipated to be extended to indoor events.

(Alexandra Brzozowski, EURACTIV.com)

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