The authorities have announced that the double testing requirement will cease applying to fully vaccinated UK nationals travelling to Belgium, starting on Friday, November 26.
According to the UK’s Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCO), vaccinated arrivals from the UK now can enter Belgium by presenting one of the following documents:
- A PCR test taken 72 hours before arrival or
- An antigen (RAT) test taken 24 hours pre-departure or on the day of arrival
This means the fully vaccinated Britons, whose administered vaccines are recognised by Belgian health authorities, will no longer have to get tested for COVID-19 on days one, two or seven of their arrival, SchengenVisaInfo.com reports.
“If you choose to take a RAT test, you should get your results in approximately 20 minutes. These can be taken at various local pharmacies,” FCO noted.
The arrivals must also complete a Passenger Locator Form (PLF), including those staying for less than 48 hours in the country.
Furthermore, for unvaccinated Britons reaching the Belgium territory, the entry rules remain the same, as the following list shows:
- Passenger must present documentation that proves the reason for travelling is essential (Essential Travel Certificate)
- Complete the PLF before arrival
- Take a PCR test before arrival or a RAT test one day before departure or on the day of arrival
- Self-isolate for ten days
- Take a PCR or RAT test on days one and seven of quarantine
The test result taken on day seven can determine if the quarantine can be ended earlier.
In comparison to several EU countries, Belgium still applies the colour-coded system, according to which entry rules apply to visitors depending on the COVID-19 positive cases recorded recently on their departure country. At present, the UK is classified as a red zone of arrival for Belgium, representing an epidemiologically high-risk country.
Furthermore, since October 4, when the British government abolished its colour-coded travel system, milder entry rules apply to travellers from Belgium, as the country does not represent a high-risk area. In other words, unvaccinated arrivals from Belgium are required to follow these rules:
- Take a COVID-19 test 72 hours before reaching the UK
- Book, pay and take two PCR tests (on days two and eight of arrival)
- Complete the PLF 48 hours before arrival
On the other hand, fully vaccinated travellers from Belgium have to book, pay and take a PCR or antigen test within 48 hours of arrival, in addition to PLF, which has to be completed 48 hours before reaching the UK.
According to World Health Organisation (WHO) data, the incidence rates for COVID-19 cases in Belgium and the UK is relatively high, with the latter reporting 289,557 positive cases and 1,027 deaths related to COVID-19. In addition, Belgium has reported 86,397 positive cases and 215 deaths for the same period, taking the death toll to a total of 26,669.