Information regarding COVID-19 for foreign diplomatic missions and international organisations established in Belgium

 

Updated on March 22nd 2022
 

The information on this page is subject to change at any time. 

 

Decisions of the COVID-19 Consultative Committee (March 4th 2022)

► Code yellow as of Monday, 7 March

On 7 March, the corona barometer has moved to code yellow. The Covid Safe Ticket is no longer in use in the hospitality (hotel, restaurant, bar) and event industry, nor in shops. It is also the end of the epidemic emergency and of the federal phase of the national emergency plan. This specifically means that most COVID-19 related restrictions are lifted.

On www.info-coronavirus.be/en you will find all measures related to COVID-19.

 

  1. Face masks
  2. Covid Safe Ticket
  3. Rules governing TRAVEL as of March 11 2022
  4. Vaccination against COVID-19
  5. EU digital COVID certificate
  6. Recognition of foreign vaccination certificates
  7. Measures at the airport - message of Brussels Airport Company (BAC)
  8. General remarks
  9. Official notifications Protocol Directorate
  10. Useful information and web links

 

1. Face masks

It is still recommended to wear a face mask in indoor areas, during exceptionally busy periods and in places where the 1.5 meter distance cannot be guaranteed. The use of a FFP2 mask is still recommended for vulnerable people. Masks are no longer be required in schools.

  • Face masks are still required for people over the age of twelve in healthcare settings, such as hospitals and nursing homes, and on public transportation.

 
2. Covid Safe Ticket

The Covid Safe Ticket is no longer required, especially in the hospitality industry and at events. Stricter rules may be applicable at regional level.

 
3. Rules governing
TRAVEL as of March 11 2022

IN SHORT

It is no longer required to complete a Passenger Locator Form (PLF). The PLF is only compulsory for people travelling to Belgium with a carrier from a third country that is not on the EU white list.

People who travel to Belgium and have one of the three COVID certificates (vaccination, test or recovery) are not subject to any testing or quarantine requirements.

Non-Belgian residents must have a valid COVID certificate (vaccination, test or recovery) when entering Belgium, except for short stays of less than 48 hours without using a carrier.

An entry ban is still in place for non-essential travel by non-EU citizens residing in a third country that is not on the EU whitelist, unless they have a certificate of vaccination or recovery.

The Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) of the National Crisis Center are updated regularly.

 
DIPLOMATIC PASSPORT OR NOT?

Entry on Belgian territory is allowed for persons holding:

  • A diplomatic passport and a recognized COVID-19 vaccination certificate
  • A diplomatic passport and a negative COVID-19 PCR test result (dating max. 72h upon arrival in Belgium) or a negative rapid antigen test result (dating max. 24h upon arrival in Belgium)
  • No diplomatic passport but holding a recognized COVID-19 vaccination certificate
  • No diplomatic passport and not holding a recognized COVID-19 vaccination certificate: need to hold a negative COVID-19 PCR test result (dating max. 72h upon arrival in Belgium) or a negative rapid antigen test result (dating max. 24h upon arrival in Belgium) and an attestation of essential travel.

 
IN DETAIL

I am a national of the EU or of a country that is part of the Schengen Area, or my primary residence is in the EU or in a country that is part of the Schengen Area, or my primary residence is in a third country included on this white list.

You are allowed to travel to and from Belgium. Non-essential travel to countries outside the European Union and the Schengen Area is, however, strongly discouraged.

Anyone aged 12 and over arriving on Belgian territory from another country and who does not have their main residence in Belgium must be in possession of a vaccination, test or recovery certificate, apart from the exceptions provided for.

 
I am not a national of the EU, nor of a country that is part of the Schengen Area, and my primary residence is in a third country which is not included on the white list.

You may travel to Belgium if you have been vaccinated for at least two weeks with all doses provided for in the leaflet of a vaccine against the SARS-Cov-2 virus that is on the list at www.info-coronavirus.be/nl/ and if no more than 270 days have passed since the date of the last dose in the primary vaccination series or if a booster dose was administered after completion of the primary vaccination series. You must be able to prove this by means of a vaccination certificate such as the EU Digital COVID Certificate or an equivalent. Since 1 September 2021, other vaccination certificates can be accepted from a country outside the EU in the absence of an equivalence decision.

If you do not have such a vaccination certificate, you must be in possession of a recovery or test certificate and you may only travel to Belgium for the following trips which are considered essential and you must have an attestation of essential travel or an official document.

This rule relates to - among other categories - diplomats, staff members of international organizations and people invited by international organizations and institutions whose physical presence is required for the proper functioning of those organizations and institutions, military personnel and personnel belonging to the forces of law and order, customs authorities, intelligence services and magistrates travelling for professional purposes, as well as humanitarian and civil protection staff, when performing their duties.

In the absence of this essential journey certificate or in case the certificate contains false, misleading or incomplete information, and if the essential nature of the journey is not apparent from the official documents carried by the traveller, entry may be refused.

For citizens of countries not requiring a visa, the following rules apply: the person must travel with an essential journey certificate. This certificate is issued by the competent Belgian embassy or consulate if it is proven that the journey is essential. An essential journey certificate is not mandatory if the essential nature of the journey is evidenced by the traveller’s documents. For example: seamen (Seaman’s Discharge Book), transit passengers (airline ticket) and diplomats (diplomatic passport), transport (consignment note). For more information about this procedure, please go to this website. In the absence of this attestation and test or recovery certificate or of the vaccination certificate, the carrier is obliged to refuse boarding.

For all journeys to Belgium, people who do not have their main residence in Belgium must have a valid and recognized vaccination or recovery certificate or a negative test result. This rule does not apply to short stays of less than 48 hours where no carrier is used.

 
4. Vaccination against COVID-19

National vaccination strategy

Staff members of diplomatic missions, consular posts and international organisations registered with the Protocol Directorate, as well as their family members who reside in Belgium, are included in the national vaccination strategy, on a voluntary basis (not compulsory), according to the same criteria as the whole population of Belgium.

As announced by the Consultative Committee of 27th November 2021, it was decided to make a an additional dose of vaccine available for the entire population residing in Belgium, as soon as possible. The vaccination campaign for the booster shot will be carried out following the operational plan developed by the Interministerial Conference for Public Health on 27 November.

Members of the diplomatic community in possession of a NISS number can already make an appointment to receive their booster shot against COVID-19, in the following cases:

  • 2 months after receiving a shot of the single-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine;
  • 4 months after receiving the second dose of the AstraZeneca or Pfizer/Moderna vaccine.

The vaccination campaign depends on the place of residence:

  • In Brussels, appointments can be made online via the BRUVAX platform, by calling the call centre 02.214.19.19 or by contacting a local pharmacy taking part in the vaccination campaign.
  • In Wallonia, appointments will be possible via the regional platform or by calling 0800.45.019, after receiving an invitation by post.
  • In Flanders, a vaccination schedule will be respected: vaccination will take place before end 2021 for priority groups and in January-April 2022 for the rest of the population. Invitations will be sent by post or via email.

All beneficiaries of the Belgian vaccination strategy have been assigned a social security identification number (NISS). The procedure on how to retrieve this number is detailed in the verbal notes distributed on  6th May (PDF, 239.83 KB) 3rd June (PDF, 234.44 KB) 2021 and  17th June (PDF, 282.04 KB) 2021 (last update on 17 December 2021). You will find this notes further under “Official notifications”.

Due to the inviolability of the residence of diplomatic agents (holders of a "D" or “C” residence permit), their vaccination invitations are sent to the address of their diplomatic/consular mission and not to their private address. Holders of a “P” or “S” residence permit will receive the invitation at their home address.

Questions related to the vaccination campaign itself (schedule, invitations, etc.) are a regional responsibility and should be dealt with the regional authorities: the Protocol Directorate is not empowered to answer them, nor to respond to specific requests. Many answers can be found in the frequently asked questions about vaccination on the website of the national crisis centre.

 
5. EU digital COVID certificate

Residents in Belgium can obtain their EU digital COVID certificate from Belgian authorities. There are three possible types of certificates:

  • vaccination certificate – if you have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19 in Belgium for at least 2 weeks (i.e. 14 days after the last dose);
  • test certificate – if you have received a negative result in the last 72 hours from a PCR-test carried out in Belgium;
  • recovery certificate – if you have recovered from COVID-19 while in Belgium.

In all instances, the EU digital COVID certificate contains an individual QR code in digital and/or paper format, free of charge. This certificate will allow you to benefit from eased travel restrictions when travelling in all EU Member States.

In Belgium, all data related to COVID-19 vaccination/test/recovery are individually and securely accessible on the institutional website Ma Santé (in French | in Dutch).

Members of diplomatic missions, consular posts and international organisations who have a special residence permit without a microchip must use one of the following authentication methods:

  • with an electronic identification recognised at EU level, in accordance with eIDAS (Regulation (EU) No. 910/2014): currently, the identity documents of 10 EU Member States are eIDAS compatible and allow access to the website “Ma santé”;
  • with a security code sent by e-mail through the procedure detailed in a verbal note sent to all diplomatic missions, consular posts and international organisations between 18th and 21st June 2021 (see at bottom of the page): an individual user profile must be created by the Federal Public Service Strategy & Organization (BOSA);
  • with a security code obtained by going in person, with one’s special residence permit "D", "C", "P" or "S" to one of the registration centres. This method is to be used as a last resort because the appointment waiting times are long.

So far, 28 non-EU countries (and territories) joined the EU Digital COVID Certificate system. This includes: Albania, Andorra, Armenia, Cabo Verde, El Salvador, Faroe Islands, Georgia, Israel, Iceland, Lebanon, Liechtenstein, Moldova, Monaco, Morocco, New Zealand, North Macedonia, Norway, Panama, San Marino, Serbia, Singapore, Switzerland, Togo, Turkey, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, The Vatican. The COVID Certificates issued in those 28 countries (and territories) are accepted in the EU under the same conditions as the EU Digital COVID Certificate.

Residents in Belgium, coming from a third country outside the EU and not included in the above list, may register their COVID-19 vaccines administered abroad in the Belgian system (Vaccinet application) by making an explicit request to their regular doctor on the basis of available official documents. Only vaccines recognized in Belgium (certified by EMA or Covishield) may give right to a Belgian vaccination certificate.

Persons who were fully vaccinated in Belgium can also receive their EU digital COVID certificate by post, by calling one of the numbers below. You need to know in advance your social security identification number (NISS or NISSbis). The number to call depends on your address as known by the administration in charge of vaccination (address of the diplomatic mission or consulate for holders of a "D" or "C" special residence permit; private address for holders of a "P" or "S" special residence permit) :

  • Call centre number if your address is located in the Brussels region: 02 214 19 19
  • Call centre number if your address is located in Wallonia: 071 31 34 93
  • Call centre number if your address is located in Flanders: 078 78 78 50

Please take the following deadlines into account:

  • vaccine registration: expect at least 3 to 7 days after the last vaccination before calling;
  • preparation of the certificate and mailing: approximately 5 working days.

 
6. Recognition of foreign vaccination certificates

Travelers who have been vaccinated with vaccines which are not recognized in Belgium are considered as unvaccinated by Belgian authorities and remain subject to all applicable health measures, hygiene rules and travel restrictions.

It is important to note that only the following vaccines are recognised in Belgium:

  • vaccines certified by the European Medicines Agency (EMA): Pfizer/BioNTech, Moderna, AstraZeneca/Oxford, Janssen
  • the Covishield vaccine

Since September 1stforeign vaccination certificates established outside the EU are also accepted in Belgium under certain conditions, pending equivalence agreements with the EU. To be recognised, the certificate must at least contain the following information in either English, French, Dutch or German:

  • data allowing the identity of the vaccinated person to be deduced (name, date of birth and/or identification number);
  • data demonstrating that all the doses of a vaccine recognised in Belgium have been administered as provided for in the leaflet at least two weeks ago;
  • the brand name and the name of the manufacturer or marketing authorisation holder of each vaccine that was delivered;
  • the injection date of each dose of the delivered vaccine;
  • the name of the country where the vaccine was delivered;
  • the issuer of the vaccination certificate with his or her signature, stamp or unique digitally readable certificate identification code.

 
7. Measures at the airport - message of Brussels Airport Company (BAC)

The VIP services have resumed their activities. Upon arrival in the VIP building, the cooperation of the passengers will be asked to respect the following measures:

  • Keep a distance of 1.5 meters from others.
  • A mouth mask is mandatory at the airport and in the aircraft.
  • It is recommended to wash and disinfect your hands regularly.
  • Requests should be sent at least 72 hours in advance instead of 48 hours. The number of visitors per delegation will be reduced to 1 instead of 6.

These recommendations will be reviewed at a later stage.

Contact: sylvie.wuiame@brusselsairport.be


8. General remarks

It is generally advised to observe the officially announced measures and to demonstrate common sense. Everyone has the individual and collective responsibility to respect these principles. Each diplomatic mission or international institution may always decide for itself to take more restrictive measures for their staff or visitors.

The Protocol Directorate of the FPS Foreign Affairs reiterate that, without prejudice to their privileges and immunities, all persons enjoying such privileges and immunities have the duty to respect the laws and regulations of the receiving State, in particular the measures taken by the authorities to limit the spread of COVID-19.

Foreign diplomatic missions and international organisations may direct their questions – exclusively regarding their staff – to the Protocol Directorate’s dedicated email address: corona-protocol@diplobel.fed.be. Please start the title of your email by writing the name of the sending State or the organisation.

The reception desk of the Protocol Directorate remains open twice a week on Wednesdays and Fridays from 9 am to noon. The Protocol asks the diplomatic missions and international organisations to only go to our reception desk if necessary and to observe the following precautions: keep a sufficient social distance and limit the number of persons in the waiting room.

 
9. Official notifications Protocol Directorate

 
10. Useful information and web links