A Ministerial Order, amending the Order of 28 October 2020, “introducing emergency measures to limit the spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus”, was published in the Belgian Official Gazette on 28 April 2021.
In order to limit the spread of new variants in Belgium, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs has already advised Belgian nationals or those with their primary residence in Belgium against travel to Brazil, South Africa or India.
The new Order adds an extra measure which “prohibits people who have been to Brazil, South Africa or India at any point over the last 14 days, from travelling directly or indirectly to Belgium”.
However, this prohibition does not apply to Belgian nationals or those who have their primary residence in Belgium.
The following circumstances are also not included under this prohibition :
- business trips for transport workers, freight workers and sailors,
- trips for diplomats, staff of international organisations and people invited by these organisations, whose physical presence is essential for their effective operation and the exercise of their duties.
Travellers included in these two categories, which are considered exempt, must hold an essential travel certificate. For the first category, it must be issued by their employer and for the second category, it must be issued by the Belgian diplomatic mission or consular office.
Entry into Belgium may be refused if such a certificate cannot be provided or if the certificate includes false, misleading or incomplete information.
Remember that “non-essential” travel to Belgium is still prohibited, particularly for those who are not nationals of a country within the European Union or the Schengen area (or those who are not nationals of Andorra, Monaco, San Marino or the Vatican City State).
For travel that is considered essential, as a rule, it is still necessary to obtain an essential travel certificate from the relevant diplomatic or consular office in Belgium. Travellers face refusal if they fail to demonstrate the essential nature of their trip when providing official documents upon entry into Belgium.
Essential travel for imperative family reasons remains as follows :
- trips justified by family reunification pursuant to the Entry, Temporary and Permanent Residence, and Deportation Act of 15 December 1980,
- visits to a spouse or partner, who does not live under the same roof, when credible proof of a stable and long-term relationship can be provided,
- trips for the purpose of co-parenting (including a medically-assisted procreation procedure),
- trips for burials or cremations of first-degree and second-degree parents,
- trips for civil or religious weddings of first-degree and second-degree parents.
For more information on our previous news, please go to: https://www.altea.be/fr/news/regroupement-familial-en-belgique-et-coronavirus.html)
Specialist in immigration law and private international family law