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Updated: Which countries can I travel to from Belgium?

00:00 10/07/2020

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).

Open without restrictions

There are 23 "green" countries within Europe that impose no restrictions whatsoever from Belgium: Greece, Germany, Croatia, Austria, Bulgaria, France, Hungary, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Poland, Sweden, Switzerland, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Estonia, the Czech Republic, Latvia, Romania, Slovakia and Slovenia.

Also on the list are Portugal (except Lisbon, which is red), Spain (except Lleida and A Mariña, also red) and the UK (except Leicester).

Open with some restrictions

Four "orange" countries allow travel from Belgium, with some conditions. Cyprus, Denmark and Iceland require travellers to provide proof of a negative coronavirus test result. Ireland requires a 14-day quarantine on arrival from Belgium. Anyone planning a trip should check the Belgian foreign ministry website before travelling.

Not yet...

Three countries in Europe remain "red" - meaning no travel from Belgium is allowed yet. These are Finland, Malta and Norway. Finland is expected to open its borders to people from Belgium on Monday 13 July.

The Belgian foreign ministry has also defined four "red zones" in Spain, Portugal and the UK, where travel is banned. People returning to Belgium from the red zones will be required to quarantine for 14 days and take two coronavirus tests (one on arrival, the second after nine days).

They are Lleida and A Mariña in Spain, Leicester in the UK, and the Portuguese capital Lisbon. Check www.diplomatie.be regularly as the list will be updated regularly, based on the number of coronavirus infections per 100,000 inhabitants.

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.

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.

Written by The Bulletin

Comments

Antwerpstephen

Advice- last year I moved to Antwerp with my Belgian partner who got residency - at this stage I haven’t as I was completing work in England and trying to sell a former home .Will this have effect on any EU travel from Belgium for me as I am not registered in Belgium yet although living here...

Jun 19, 2020 17:47