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Updated: Which countries can I travel to from Belgium?
Belgium reopened its borders to non-essential travel on 15 June, opening up the possibility to enjoy a foreign holiday within the EU and Schengen area, and the UK, for the first time in three months.
Belgian residents can travel to most European countries, but travel restrictions still apply in several countries within Europe.
Non-essential travel outside the EU and Schengen area remains restricted. The EU has agreed on a "safe list" of 15 countries, including Australia, Canada and Japan, but Belgium has decided not to follow the EU's recommendations, and continues to ban travel to and from these countries.
Belgium's foreign affairs ministry has updated its website with the latest travel advice, including a colour-coded guide to which countries are fully open (green), open with some restrictions (orange) and still off-limits (red).
Green: open without restrictions
The following "green" countries within Europe impose no restrictions whatsoever on travel from Belgium:
- the Netherlands
- Czech Republic
- Portugal (except Lisbon, which is red)
- Spain (except Lleida and A Mariña, also red)
- the UK (except Leicester)
Orange: open with some restrictions
These "orange" countries allow travel from Belgium, with some conditions:
- Cyprus (coronavirus test mandatory)
- Denmark (test mandatory for Greenland and the Faroe Islands)
- Iceland (mandatory test or quarantine)
- Ireland (quarantine)
- Malta (quarantine)
Orange: travel possible, but remain vigilant
Red: no travel allowed
Two countries in Europe are "red" - meaning no travel from Belgium is allowed:
The Belgian foreign ministry has also defined four "red zones" in Spain, Portugal and the UK, where travel is banned. They are Lleida and A Mariña in Spain, Leicester in the UK, and the Portuguese capital Lisbon.
Red: compulsory quarantine on return to Belgium
People returning to Belgium from the following red zones will be required to quarantine for 14 days and take two coronavirus tests (one on arrival, the second after nine days):
- Lleida (Spain)
- A Mariña (Spain)
- Lisbon (Portugal)
- Leicester (UK)
The foreign ministry emphasises that the red zones apply to people who have stayed within the red zone on holiday, not simply passed through the airport. So anyone flying in and out of Lisbon, for instance, who immediately left the city for other parts of Portugal are not considered to be coming home from a red zone.
Check www.diplomatie.be regularly as the list will be updated regularly, based on the number of coronavirus infections per 100,000 inhabitants.
Orange: No quarantine required on return, but stay vigilant for possible symptoms
If you are returning from the Belgium from the following "orange zones", it is recommended that you limit your social contacts and, if you develop any possible coronavirus symptoms, speak to a doctor:
- Austria: Oberösterreich
- Spain: Aragon, Catalonia
- Italy: Trento
- Portugal: Algarve, Alentejo
- Czech Republic: Moravskoslezský
- Poland: Śląskie
- United-Kingdom: Midlands, North East & Yorkshire, Northern Wales and Northern Ireland
- Switzerland: Ticino
What about travel outside Europe?
Since 1 July, the EU has approved travel to 15 countries outside Europe. The "safe list" is made up of Algeria, Australia, Canada, Georgia, Japan, Montenegro, Morocco, New Zealand, Rwanda, Serbia, South Korea, Thailand, Tunisia and Uruguay. China is also on the list, with the condition of reciprocity.
Belgium has decided not to follow the EU's recommendations. A ministerial source said nine of the countries on the EU's list were still categorised as "red" by the Belgian federal finance ministry, indicating that they remain high-risk, and the others do not guarantee reciprocity of free movement for all EU nationals. "After all the efforts made by everyone, we have decided to be prudent and take precautions," said foreign affairs minister Philippe Goffin. Ministers will continue to monitor the latest virus stats in each of the countries on the list.