(Update 29 April 2021)
The Belgian government has recently amended its travel regulations with regards to the Coronavirus pandemic. For the latest information, please check the website of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the website of the Crisis center.
The travel restrictions do not apply to third-country citizens with a valid Schengen residence permit or D-visa, as travelling for the purposes of study or research is deemed as essential travel by the Immigration Office.
Since 28 April 2021, staff and students who were in Brazil, South Africa or India at any time during the past 14 days are not allowed to travel (directly or indirectly) to Belgium. This travel ban is not applicable to staff and students who have Belgian nationality or who have their main residence in Belgium.
When travelling to Belgium, there are four steps to take into account.
- Foreigners who come to Belgium and who will stay here for at least 48 hours must be able to submit a negative corona test of up to 72 hours old. This obligation also applies to all students who do not have their main residence in Belgium.
- You must also complete a Public Health Passenger Locator Form (including the self-assessment form) 48 hours before arrival in Belgium.
If you don’t have a mobile phone, you must fill in the document on paper and keep a printed copy with you.
- When coming from a red zone (as defined by the government - more information on the Corona website) you will receive an sms to go into quarantine. Anyone who comes to Belgium after a stay of at least 48 hours abroad in a red zone must go into quarantine. The quarantine can only be ended after a negative PCR test on day 7 of the quarantine. Travellers coming from the United Kingdom, South Africa and South America must go into quarantine for 10 days and get a PCR test on day 1 and day 7.
- You will also receive a CTPC code (Covid Test Prescription Code) via sms to get tested on the 7th day after arrival in Belgium. With this code you can book an appointment at the test village in Antwerp. You will need to provide an address in Antwerp and a Belgian national registration number or bis number. Staff can request this number through the International Staff Office. Students can find this number in SisA. You can access you test results through the Coronalert App. Do not forget to download the app before booking your test so that the results can be linked to your app.
Important exception for students! Students will be allowed to interrupt the quarantine exceptionally, for the sole purpose of taking an exam. In SisA you can download a study certificate; make sure you always have this with you together with your student card and a schedule of your exams, so that you can demonstrate that you are going to an exam.
If your test is negative, you will no longer need to stay in quarantine. Make sure to stay alert for another 7 days.
If your test is positive, you have to isolate yourself and stay at home for at least 7 more days.
More information can be found on the website of the federal government.
If you don’t have a GP yet, you can consult the list of doctors in Antwerp online or book an online appointment with one of the campus doctors . If you need help finding a doctor, as a student you can contact the Office for Students Affairs (STIP) at email@example.com. Staff members can contact the International Staff Office at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Quarantine means staying indoors (including garden or terrace) in a single place, which must be specified in advance on the Passenger Locator Form. This can be a private address (with family or with friends), or another place to stay, such as a hotel. If the person falls ill, all members of the same household are close contacts.
- During this period, contact with other people, including people in the same house, must be completely avoided (always keep a distance of 1.5m).
- Towels, bed linen and eating or drinking utensils should not be shared with the other members of the same household and, if possible, the person should use a separate toilet and bathroom.
- Quarantine in an environment with people at increased risk of severe illness from COVID-19 is not recommended (e.g. people older than 65, people with a serious underlying medical condition such as severe heart, lung or kidney disease, people with reduced immunity).
- No visits are allowed.
- Working and going to school is not allowed, with the exclusion of the exceptions mentioned below. Teleworking is possible.
- For all journeys (from the time of arrival in Belgium) the use of public transport must be avoided.
- The health situation must be closely monitored. If symptoms of COVID-19 appear, the local GP must be contacted immediately.
- It is mandatory to be reachable and cooperate with the health authorities throughout the self-isolation period.
Going outside is only allowed for the following essential trips and provided that you wear a face mask:
- Urgent medical attention
- Purchase of basic necessities, such as food and medicines, but only if no one else can provide them and by exception
- Settling urgent legal/financial issues
- For persons performing essential work or persons who have a recognized compelling reason whose essential activities cannot be postponed until after the period of quarantine has ended, e.g. the funeral of a family member.
In addition to the follow-up of the applicable Covid-19 measures, it is mandatory for staff members to register with a local health insurance fund upon arrival in Belgium. Staff members can contact the International Staff Office for assistance with the registration.
Students can find more information about health insurance on the website of the University. Especially non-European students are strongly advised to register with a local health insurance fund.
If you are a student moving to Belgium from outside the EU, we strongly recommend arranging travel insurance for the first month. Travel insurance plans usually cover your medical and urgent dental fees, as well as exceptional events such as repatriation and medical transport. They cover potential medical costs until you have permanent health insurance, which you will sign up to once you arrive in Antwerp.