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Confused - what are the quarantine rules for a vaccinated and boosted US citizen visiting Belgium

Hello, planning to travel to Belgium in March. Vaccinated and boosted US citizen. I have been researching the travel restrictions and it appears that, even while other EU countries are dropping restrictions, Belgium requires a quarantine if you are from US and stay more than 48 hours (testing on day 1 - you can then leave once test negative - and then testing on day 7).

However, this website article suggests restrictions are dropping, but no mention of quarantine: https://www.schengenvisainfo.com/news/belgium-to-relax-entry-rules-based-on-travellers-vaccination-recovery-status/

The Belgium government websites still have the quarantine requirement for 48 hour+ stays.

Has there been any clarity on this? Is Belgium planning to stick with these restrictions even as their neighbors drop them? Just trying to plan around this and it has been difficult to get straight answers from those bloated Belgian government websites.

Posted by
9921 posts

I, too, am following the requirements closely although I am not traveling until the end of April. As of Friday rules changed and if you are fully vaccinated and coming from the US you do not need testing or quarantine.

Here's the site I've been using.

https://www.info-coronavirus.be/en/travels/#1b

At present, the US is a country not on the White list nor is it a Very High Risk country so we meet the criteria under #2.

Since you are fully vax'd and boosted you will not need to test or quarantine. It looks like you MAY still need the CST (Corona Safe Travels, I think) QR code BUT it is expected that when Belgium's Coronabarometer goes to Yellow that will go away.

I've also been following info on the Trip Advisor Belgium forum. The poster "Ronny W" is keeping up on requirements and posting frequently with what appears to be very good information.

https://www.tripadvisor.com/ShowTopic-g188634-i204-k13828354-New_travel_rules_for_Belgium_published-Belgium.html

Editing to Add (and re-editing): Here also is a link to the Belgium Embassy in the US. I last checked it on Friday and it was not updated but it is now showing it updated on Feb 18 but it does confusingly say we would still need to test on Day 1 and 7. Based on that Belgium government link I do not think that is correct.

https://unitedstates.diplomatie.belgium.be/en/coronavirus-covid-19

Posted by
5 posts

Thank you so much for this information, Pam! I have been trying to piece this together with the patchwork of websites and news articles, but they do not make it easy to surmise what the current restrictions are. I hope for your sake and mine that the quarantine requirements will remain off the table for our trips, particularly as neighboring countries are allowing more access.

Posted by
9921 posts

It IS so confusing.

I just edited my post AGAIN...as the last link is the Belgium Embassy in the US not the US Embassy in Belgium. Sorry to add to confusion. Yeesh.

Well, I thought it was so confusing that I am going to Paris for more than 14 days before I go to Belgium (good excuse, hahaha!!). On the previous rules (and maybe the current ones) if you were coming to Belgium after a stay of 14 days or longer in the Schengen Zone you did not need to have any testing, lol.

Let's keep up on this! I am reading the TA Belgium forum every day as well as of course the forum here.

Posted by
6018 posts

I can't speak to the changing requirements, but can comment on the Quarantine and testing.

The wording on government sites is somewhat of a recommendation, as opposed to a hard requirement. You will not be whisked away to be confined, you pretty much enter the country and go on your way. Testing is similar, you do not report your results or need to show them to anyone (if positive, the test center will notify authorities). I am not suggesting disregarding the rules, but we basically took self tests with us, had an "official" test before traveling; Tested once we got to our hotel, then tested ourselves a couple times early, including Day 7.

Posted by
382 posts

I am watching the Belgium covid restrictions also. My husband and I will be landing in Brussels on March 23. I was also getting mixed messages when looking at the Belgian embassy web site. Thank you Pam for letting me know about the Trip Advisor forum.

I have a friend who visited her brother in Brussels at Christmas time. Her brother’s in-laws had visited a few months earlier from America. They filled out the Passenger Locator Form, but didn’t know that they were supposed to take a covid test on Day 1. There was a knock on the door on Day 2 and authorities were there to inform them that they immediately had to take a covid test and needed to take another one on Day 7. They had used a travel agent and the travel agent didn’t tell them anything about testing etc. This same couple then went to Switzerland and upon arrival were told that they had to quarantine for 10 days. They had planned to visit for 4 days, so they sat in a quarantine hotel for 4 days and then flew home. What a waste!

So, it does pay to do your homework!

Posted by
5 posts

Pam, I had seen the same embassy website, updated on Feb. 18, with (seemingly) contradictory information...which is what led me to make a post here. Thanks for adding the edit to show how confusing this information is being rolled out. Thank you as well to the other commenters for their input. Hopefully over the next few weeks there will be a consensus of information that is made available across all platforms.

Posted by
9921 posts

I’ve also been on the Belgium Embassy in the US’s FB page, lol. (I can scarcely believe I just typed that sentence but it looks OK!) They are closed tomorrow for President’s Day (really that made me laugh!) but I thought I’d see if I could message them via FB on Tuesday when whoever manages the FB page might be in the office. I’ve got a reminder for myself (2 days away you know) and will let you know if I get an answer.

Janet, that is really too bad for those folks. We’re all better off here with various inquiries being posted and the sharing of information. Shame on their travel agents for not even giving them a hint they might have rules to abide by.

Paul, thank you for your input.

Posted by
85 posts

Thank you for this thread. My wife and I plan to visit Belgium at the end of April and have been paying attention to the rules also. I was also confused about the quarantine requirement. I too have been following Belgium's Embassy in the US webpage. One thing no one has mentioned is on that webpage, is that it states that if you got 2 doses of a vaccine, you are only considered fully vaccinated 270 days after the 2nd dose. A booster shot doesn't expire.

Edit - I checked out the TripAdvisor thread that Pam posted. One good link from one of the replies is this website: https://coronavirus.brussels/en/belgian-cst-for-foreigners/

Posted by
85 posts

Just posted today on the Belgium Embassy in the US website that US vaccinated travelers do NOT need to test or quarantine upon arrival.

Posted by
9921 posts

DB, did you use the PM function to ask them? I PM'd this afternoon (forgot this AM, lol) but it was probably after their quitting time today.

editing to add: OK, I see on their Webpage they've updated it since Friday and this AM!

"Travel from the U.S. to Belgium:"

"Fully vaccinated individuals can travel. Testing prior to arrival is no longer required. Travelers aged 12 and older who do not reside in Belgium must present a valid and recognized vaccination certificate. Both the CDC vaccination card and - when available - State-issued vaccination certificates are accepted as valid proofs of vaccination."

"Upon arrival in Belgium, vaccinated travelers no longer need to test or quarantine."

https://unitedstates.diplomatie.belgium.be/en/coronavirus-covid-19

Posted by
9921 posts

Just saw this article that says there is a scheduled meeting on March 4 to look at Belgium moving to Yellow on the Corona Barometer. That would mean the requirement for a CST (Covid Safe Ticket) needed for restaurants would no longer be in force.

https://www.brusselstimes.com/belgium/207684/cant-rule-it-out-belgium-could-switch-to-code-yellow-after-carnival-break

It would require that there be fewer than 300 people in ICUs due to Covid.

It also mentions that it would be after “Carnival” time. I didn’t realize that was a “thing” in Belgium. Ash Wednesday is March 2.

Posted by
177 posts

Thanks for being so on top of this Pam. Fingers crossed we don’t get any more nasty new variants before our travels and that these requirements remain in place.

Posted by
9921 posts

Woohoo!! OK, the aforementioned meeting was held yesterday and Belgium is moving to "Yellow" on it's Coronabarometer on Monday. That means most restrictions are lifted. No CST will be needed. They will have similar masking requirements to France, so in healthcare institutions and on public transit and in areas that are crowded.

https://www.brusselstimes.com/belgium-news/209329/tbtb-live-belgium-switches-to-code-yellow-from-monday

The article also says this regarding the PLF (Passenger Locator Form):

"From Friday 11 March, travellers entering Belgium from within the European Union will no longer need to complete the Passenger Locator Form (PLF). However, the form remains required for those coming from outside the EU, unless the country is on the so-called ‘white list’ of safe destinations."

(The US is NOT on the White List.)

The official Coronabarometer site for Belgium is not yet changed to Yellow.

https://www.info-coronavirus.be/en/barometer/

Posted by
5 posts

Nice - thanks, Pam!

I will be entering Belgium by train from the Netherlands. I wonder if that will remove me from the need to fill out a PLF, even though I would have been entering the Netherlands by plane from the USA.

Posted by
8872 posts

I was wondering the same about entering Belgium from Germany after being there a few days. I hadn’t been paying attention to Belgium requirements because I had no idea we may be going there just a couple of weeks from now.

Posted by
9921 posts

I think at least for Andrea and me we will not have to fill out the PLF because we both will have been in the EU for more than 14 days. I cannot find it but I read that when I was initially figuring out my itinerary and allowed myself 15 days in France to meet that requirement.

I am not sure about just transiting thru the Netherlands!

There is a little worksheet you can do...let me see if I can find it.

PS....I've still not heard back from my FB PM inquiry to the Belgium Embassy in the US!

PPS...Well I've read all the information on the PLF site and at best it's confusing. It implies that if you arrive from an EU country (and does NOT specify a time limit) that you do not have to fill out a Plf. Depending on what has changed between now and then, I'll probably go ahead and fill out the PLF when I travel the end of April. Actually you can fill it out now as you can do it within 6 months. Still, I want to wait and see what rule changes are in place by then. And can't find the worksheet...but maybe that was Netherlands? Corn...fusing! (which is WAY worse than just plain confusing!)

Posted by
9921 posts

OK, here is the newest link from the Belgium government outlining rules as of, March 11:

https://www.info-coronavirus.be/en/news/occ-0403/

"It will no longer be necessary to fill out a Passenger Locator Form (PLF). The PLF will now only be mandatory for those travelling with a carrier to Belgium from a third country that is not on the European Union’s white list."

Well, I thought I knew what this meant, but now I'm not sure!!!

Posted by
20 posts

I find you to be very helpful, Pam, in all of your postings. Thank you!

Posted by
382 posts

My husband and I flew into Belgium a week ago. We had to fill out a PLF. The airline was checking before we got on the plane. After we landed, I received an email about the form. It was in French, so I asked the lady at the front desk of the hotel. She read it and told me “all was fine. I didn’t need to do anything else”

Posted by
5 posts

Any of you have returned recently and can confirm that a digital COVID pass is NOT needed for indoor dining and indoor activities/museums in Belgium?

And do I need a PLF if I’m coming to Belgium from Amsterdam.

Posted by
1150 posts

I too would like to hear real time info from those who've traveled there recently

Posted by
9921 posts

Well, I can tell you Thursday, lol. I’m traveling from Paris to Ghent via train. I did do the Belgium PLF before I left home 2 weeks ago. I’ve got it printed out as well as filed electronically.

The digital Covid pass is no longer needed for restaurants or other venues.

Posted by
5 posts

Thank you @Pam. Look forward to hearing your ‘on the ground’ experience. I went to purchase tickets for the Altarpiece in Ghent and it said covid pass required, so confused about what is happening on the ground in Belgium. I’ll fill out the PLF just in case!

Posted by
264 posts

The COVID pass requirement was dropped back in March. The fact that the websites of some museums haven’t been updated yet to reflect that, doesn’t change that fact. “On the ground” no restaurant, cafe, museum or shop in Belgium will ask you for your COVID pass.

Posted by
9921 posts

@vinotinto, although the altarpiece is on my tour I went ahead and booked to go on my own as well. I got the AR tour and will do it Saturday. There must be something going on tomorrow as there was only 1 time slot and it was filled by the time I looked at it.

Posted by
9921 posts

Ok, the conductor on the Paris-Brussels segment scanned my ticket QR code but that was it. Exiting the International arrivals area of Brussels Midi station a couple of Douane/Customs officers were eyeing the crowd but not stopping anyone. No ticket check on the Brussels to Gent segment. Hotel didn’t ask about PLF.

BTW, there was some kind of disruption so my train was 140 minutes late leaving Paris. I knew the onward ticket was good for any train so just hopped on the next train to Gent.