On June 15, 2020 Belgium officially reopened its borders to tourists, first allowing select countries to visit.
Belgium was just celebrating a record year for tourism in 2019, with a whopping 9.4 million overnight tourists in Brussels alone. 2020 was projected to be an even bigger year until they had to close their borders.
Temporary Restrictions and Important Updates For Belgium
This article was first published in June 2020, and there are now some temporary restrictions in place that greatly affect travelers.
- From January 27, 2021 until at least March 1 2021, a non-essential travel ban IN or OUT of Belgium is currently in place.
- A curfew is in effect from 10pm to 6am.
From June 15, following all other major EU countries, Belgium made the decision to reopen for tourism from countries in the European Union, including the UK, and the four EFTA nations (Switzerland, Liechtenstein, Iceland and Norway.)
Belgium Reopening Guidelines
Who Can Visit Belgium?
(accurate as of Oct 26)
- Czech Republic
- New Zealand
- South Korea
🧳 Today, Belgium 🇧🇪 has opened its borders for travellers from & to the EU 🇪🇺, including 4 other #Schengen countries.— Belgium in the EU (@BelgiumEU) June 15, 2020
What do you need to take into account when travelling? You find all the answers to your questions on @EU_Commission’s portal #ReopenEU.https://t.co/hTtXlaTcwr pic.twitter.com/CmyNxUqzOs
Are There Any Testing and/or Quarantine Requirements?
The Belgian Government has introduced a traffic light system of high, medium and low risk regions. Travellers entering Belgium from high risk (red) regions will be required to take a test and to self-isolate for 7 days, provided you take a test on day 5 and that test result is negative for COVID-19. If you test positive for COVID-19 on day 5, you will have to remain in self-isolation for a further 7 days.
When Will Belgium Reopen To Countries Outside The EU?
The Belgian Embassy told us “At the moment, Belgium is still closed for non-essential trips (from non EU countries) and the allowed travelers (essential journeys only) must respect a 14 days quarantine”
What Flights Have Resumed to Belgium?
Many airlines and flight routes have already resumed in June to many cities within Belgium. Belgium’s major airline Brussels Airlines is flying direct every day to many other European cities.
Other airlines that have also resumed direct flights in June include: WizzAir, RyanAir, Turkish Airlines, Alitalia, Aegean, Deutsche Bahn, Austrain Air, SAS, and Pegasus.TUI is expected to resume in July.
Although Belgium is currently not accepting American or Canadian tourists, Air Canada has direct flights scheduled from Montreal in July, and Brussels Airlines has direct routes from New York City also starting in July.
What’s Open in Belgium
All throughout the month of June, restrictions have started lifting in all aspects of daily life, including tourism. Here’s what’s open in Belgium, however they may have capacity rules or shortened hours:
- Hotels, AirBnB, cottages and campsites
- Restaurants and cafes (Update: As of Oct 15, Belgium has temporarily closed restaurants and cafes to help stop the surge in cases)
- Shopping malls, markets and boutiques
- Galleries, museums and tourist attractions
- Fitness Centers
- Update October 27: Due to a surge in cases, museums, along with some shops and services are now closed for appox 1 month)
Disclaimer: Belgium’s reopening news is ever-changing and being updated constantly. We do our best to keep this article up to date with all the latest information, but the decision to travel is ultimately your responsibility. Contact your consulate and/or local authorities to confirm your nationality’s entry and/or any changes to travel requirements before traveling.
Article originally published June 24, 2020