A change in legislation is consequential for European Union (EU)/Schengen travel to Belgium.
A change in legislation, published in the Belgian Official Journal on January 26, 2020, and effective January 27, 2021, will have substantial consequences for EU/Schengen travel to Belgium.
Between January 27, 2021, and March 1, 2021, all non-essential travel is forbidden for all those whose main place of residence is located abroad. This does not change the situation for travel from most third countries, which was already limited to non-essential travel. However, the EU/Schengen travel restriction is new. Third countries are defined as non-EU/non-Schengen countries.
The definition of essential travel and the required formalities depend on the country of origin and/or citizenship:
- Travel from a third country, other than “safe” third countries (currently Australia, South Korea, Japan, New Zealand, Rwanda, Singapore, and Thailand), by a third country national with main residence in the third country (e.g., United States, Canada, India): An overview of essential travels is available at the website of the Belgian federal immigration office (point 2.2., https://dofi.ibz.be/sites/dvzoe/EN/Pages/International%20travels.aspx). An essential travel certificate, issued by the Belgian embassy/consulate with jurisdiction, will in principle be required. Before the traveler boards, the transporter must check whether an essential travel certificate is available. If not, boarding must be refused.
- All other travels by non-residents (e.g., travel from an EU/Schengen country; travel from a “safe” third country (see list above); travel by an EU/Schengen country national): A sworn statement must be completed by the traveler (see https://d34j62pglfm3rr.cloudfront.net/downloads/20210126_BU_Verklaring_op_eer_Finaal_EN_Goedgekeurd_Blanco.pdf). The sworn statement lists all essential travels; the relevant travel purpose must be selected (see also the website of the Belgian federal immigration office—point 2.1., https://dofi.ibz.be/sites/dvzoe/EN/Pages/International%20travels.aspx). Before the traveler boards, the transporter must check whether a sworn statement was completed. If not, boarding must be refused. Failure to make a sworn statement or making a false, misleading, or incomplete statement may result in denial of entry.
These travel restrictions have been added to other current measures, such as the requirements to complete a Public Health Passenger Locator Form (PLF), a prior negative Covid-19 test, and quarantine/isolation/testing in Belgium.