Immigration Updates – Belgium

On Monday, April 26, the Belgian government started to gradually relax the corona measures.

Despite the fact that the pressure on health care in Belgium is high, especially in intensive care units, the country also sees positive developments. The average number of daily infections, for example, is decreasing, and the reproduction rate is below 1. The average number of hospital admissions is also starting to decline and the vaccination campaign is progressing well.

The travel ban on non-essential travel within the European Union expired on April 19. Non-essential travel within the European Union is allowed. For travel outside the European Union, the European rules continue to apply. Upon return, there is a strict system of mandatory testing and quarantine. Violators face a corona fine of EUR 250.

Following the infection of 20 Indian students with a coronavirus variant, Minister of the Interior Affairs Annelies Verlinden (CD&V) already announced last week that she wanted to tighten the measures, which the Consultative Committee confirmed on Tuesday April 27.

Passenger transport by plane, train, ship and bus – including transit traffic – from India, Brazil, and South Africa is no longer possible. Students and seasonal workers from those countries are no longer permitted to travel to Belgium.
Certain professional travel of transport and shipping workers, diplomats, and certain staff members of international organisations, on the other hand, are still possible. However, a certificate from the employer is always required, as is a certificate from the Belgian or consular post if the travel can be proven to be essential.

Belgians and people with their main residence in Belgium can still return from the three countries concerned.
At the same time, the quarantine requirements will be tightened. Residents of Belgium who have been in India for less than 48 hours are no longer exempt from the testing and quarantine requirements. Neither does it apply to non-residents of Belgium travelling from India to our country and staying for less than 48 hours.

Minister Verlinden has incorporated the travel ban in a Ministerial Decree that was published in the Belgian Official Journal on Wednesday 28 April.

For detailed advice on the latest updates for travel restrictions in Belgium and Luxembourg, please contact Massimo Maesen, Partner and Practice Leader Belux of Expat Management Group:

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