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How can I travel from the UK to Belgium?

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Because Belgium does not consider the United Kingdom a “very dangerous” country, travelling is possible again with some restrictions.

Marie Chercharie, spokeswoman for Foreign Affairs, stated that the UK was removed from the “very dangerous” list. The UK is now considered a “regular” zone outside the EU.

According to The Brussels Times: “For travellers, this means that all the rules of red non EU areas apply.”

About Belgium

It is silly to label Belgium “boring”. Belgium is beautiful and creative, which is why it is so underrated. For many, beer, chocolate, and moules-frites may be the first thing they see. But, while these are great starting points, you can also eat and drink well, and the country has other strong points.

It is home to beautiful Mediaeval architecture, including those in Brussels, Antwerps, Antwerps, Ghent, and Bruges. Meanwhile, a military history that spans everything from Waterloo, WWII and beyond holds its own fascination. It’s compact and easy to get around. It is home to riotous festivals that never seem to go out of style and boasts an outstanding arts heritage.

But Belgium isn’t easy to understand. It is currently divided into three regions – Flanders which is the predominantly Dutch-speaking northern region, Wallonia which is predominantly French-speaking southern region and Brussels’ capital region – although it has been reorganised linguistically. Belgians refer to their homeland often as an “artificial place”. This just makes the area even more fascinating in so many ways.

Flanders is packed with museums, mediaeval architecture, and its countryside is studded in white-washed small hamlets. There are miles and miles upon miles on which to cycle. There are opportunities to do land boarding or kitesurfing on the North Sea coastline. Wallonia, however, is more relaxed. These towns, steeped with folklore, are great starting points for exploring the Ardennes rolling hills. There are stunning landscapes on both sides of the country.

Brussels is a mix between Art Nouveau mansions or gleaming Skyscrapers, art galleries, flea and flea markets, “fritkot Chip stands” and Michelin starred restaurants. It comprises 19 different communes, from the chic Ixelles District to the young Anderlecht. There are many faces to Brussels. Each quarter offers a different interpretation of the personality of Europe’s capital. That is true in itself, and Belgium has very few monochromes.

Where to visit in Belgium

Bruges

Bruges, located in northern Belgium, is a well-preserved mediaeval town. It has a romantic atmosphere and old-world charm. Bruges was once a major centre for Flemish arts and textiles. Today, it is most well-known for its stunning canals.

Bruges is the largest city in West Flanders, but it’s still manageable to be explored by foot. The Old Town, which is a postcard-perfect attraction in Bruges, is the most important attraction. The historic district is surrounded by beautiful canals and mediaeval walls. It boasts stunning old architecture, including Romanesque and Gothic churches such as the Church of Our Lady, which houses a Michelangelo statue, and the Basilica of the Holy Blood that claims to have a vial of Jesus Christ’s blood.

The Markt Square Belfry is the city’s most iconic landmark. To enjoy stunning views of the city, visitors can climb this bell tower from the 13th century. The impressive Gruuthuse Mansion and Saint John’s Hospital are two other places you should not miss.

The museums of Bruges are a must-see. They display the city’s culture and traditions as well as art by prominent Flemish artists. You can find dozens of shops selling Belgian beer, delicious chocolates and traditional lacework as you stroll down cobblestone streets. Horse-drawn carriage rides offer romantic experiences, and scenic canal cruises are easily available.

Brussels

Brussels, the capital of Belgium, is known for its variety of places and sites of interest. It is where most visitors will start their sightseeing. Brussels is also the capital of the European Union, as it houses many European institutions.

The city’s central square, the Grand Place, was founded in the 13th century. There are many terrace cafes and bars around the square. Other sites of interest include the magnificent Gothic-style Town Hall. Galeries St. Hubert is a glass-roof arcade with shops, restaurants and theatres that can be found in central Paris.

What are the Entry requirements?

If you are fully vaccinated:

You can enter Belgium from the UK once you’re fully immunised.

  • Unless you fall within a very narrow list of exemptions on the Belgian website (under Transport and International), you must fill out a Passenger Location Form (PLF).

To be considered fully vaccinated, you must have been fully vaccinated for at most 14 days from the date of your second dose. The second dose must not have expired more than 270 times unless your booster or third dose has passed. Further information can be found on the Belgian website.

Travellers who do not travel to Belgium via transport (for example, via France via car) and who will stay in Belgium for at most 48 hours are exempt from the need for a PLF. It is recommended that you continue to adhere to the information for any country through which you travel.

Further information is available on the Belgian government’s website.

Proof of vaccination status:

Belgian authorities are willing to accept the evidence of the COVID-19 immunization record of the UK. These documents must include a verifiable QR-code. Your last vaccination must have taken place 14 days before you travel. The NHS appointment cards from vaccination centres are not intended to be used in the proof of vaccination. EU guidelines require that incoming travellers be fully vaccinated by having received a second dose or the sole dose of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine. Individuals who have had a booster vaccine still qualify as fully vaccinated.

If you’re still not fully vaccinated:

If you are under the age of 12 and have a valid negative test certificate, you will not be allowed to enter Belgium. A recovery certificate is not required if you are 18 years or older. Please refer to the section on children and young people below for information about rules for children aged 12-17. This will usually require that a traveller obtain an Essential Travel Certificate through the Belgian Embassy in London. If you can provide proof of the essential nature, an Essential Travel Certificate is not required. A recovery certification is valid for 180-days, a 72-hour PCR testing, and 24-hour RAT tests. Unless you fall under an exemption, you must complete the Passenger Locator Form.

Further information can also be found on the Belgian government’s website.

Belgium residents:

Belgian residents cannot provide a certificate of vaccination/recovery or a negative test. You will need to do a day-1 test PCR (or RAT) if you’re returning from a third country that is not on the white list.

Young people and children:

Children under 12 are allowed to travel without being tested, even if they have not been fully vaccinated. All children aged 12-17 require a recovery, vaccination or negative test certification. Unvaccinated children or young people under 18 can travel along with their parent(s), guardian or guardian without an Essential Travel Certificate provided they are in possession of a vaccine certificate. Essential Travel Certificates will be required for minors under 18 travelling alone or not with a parent(s), guardian, or other people.

If you’re passing through Belgium:

Transiting is when you go through one country before reaching your final destination. Travellers to Belgium for less than 48 hours are not required to present proof of vaccination or a positive or recovery test certificate unless they arrive from a country containing a new Variant of Concern.

Transit passengers arriving via air must show they can meet the requirements of their destination country.

Exemptions:

Belgium allows travel restrictions to be lifted from quarantine, testing and other restrictions. More information can be found on the Belgian government’s webpage.

HGV drivers:

HGV drivers entering Belgium via the UK don’t need to pass a COVID-19 negative test, show proof of vaccination or prove of recovery.

Before you travel, be sure to verify your passport and travel documents.

Passport validity:

You must adhere to Schengen area rules if you plan on travelling to an EU member country (except Ireland), Switzerland, Norway and Iceland, Liechtenstein.

There are 2 requirements for your passport to be valid. It must satisfy the following requirements

  • It is less than 10 year old when you enter the program (check the “date issued” column).
  • Valid for at the very least 3 months starting on the day you plan your departure (check the expiry date’).

We are asking for clarification from the European Commission on the 10-year rule. Their guidance for Schengen frontier guards may not get updated until 2022. You will need to have a passport that is less than 10years old for certain Schengen nations. Also, the three months, in the end, may need to be within 10 years from the date you received your passport.

Double-check the expiry date and issue date on your passport. An extra month may have been added to your passport’s expiry if you renewed it before its due date. This could result in your passport needing to be less than 10 years old.

If you believe your passport is not meeting these requirements, you should contact your travel provider. Renewal of your passport is possible if you feel the need.

Visas

You are allowed to travel to countries in the Schengen without a visa for up 90 days. This is for tourists, family members, friends and short-term training or studies.

You must be within the 90-day visa limit if you travel to Belgium and other Schengen Countries without a Visa. The 90-day period includes visits to Schengen nations within the preceding 180 days.

Belgian government requirements for entry are needed to permit you to stay longer or to study, work, or go to school in Belgium. Get in touch with the Belgian embassy to find out what type and number of visas or work permit you may require.

If you’re going to Belgium to do work then please review the guidelines on visas, permits and restrictions.

The 90-day visa-free restriction does not apply to residence permits or long-stay visas issued in Belgium.

Passport stamping

You must ensure your passport stamp is valid when you enter or leave the Schengen Area through Belgium as a visitor. To ensure that you adhere to the 90-day visa waiver limit for short stays, border guards may use passport stamps. Border guards can assume that you have violated your visa-free time limit if they do not find the appropriate entry or exit stamps in your passport.

You can present evidence to prove when and where your entry or exit from the Schengen zone. The border guards may ask you to add this date/location to your passport. Acceptable evidence includes tickets and boarding passes.

You may also want to:

  • Show a Return or Onward ticket
  • Show you have sufficient money for your stay

For information on stamping your passport if a Belgian citizen, see our Living Guide.

UK Emergency Travel Documents

UK Emergency Travel Papers (ETDs) can be accepted for entry, airside transit and exit from Belgium.

Returning to the UK

All passengers aged 12 and above who are travelling to the UK from abroad must fill out an online tourist locator form before departing. For minors under 18, you can fill out the form.

You do not need any tests if you have been fully vaccinated. The same rules are applicable to travellers under 18.

If you are aged 18 or over, you may not have been fully vaccinated.

  • A negative Covid-19 screening will be required. This must be done within two days of your arrival in the UK.
  • You will need to book the PCR test and pay within two days from your arrival in Britain. This must be booked with an independent provider before you travel.
  • Except for a positive PCR test, you don’t have quarantine to do.

 

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