Ever since the first vaccines came out in early 2021, Belgium has started easing up its travel restrictions. In fact, as The Brussels Times reported, the country lifted its non-essential travel ban just last month, on April 19, 2021. The move was announced by the Consultative Committee on April 14, 2021, the first sign of Belgium possibly reopening this year. Although Belgian officials still stress that 'travel is not recommended,' since late April, residents and those coming from fellow EU member states have been allowed to travel relatively freely throughout the country.
With that said, however, the lifting of the non-essential travel ban did come with stricter testing and quarantine protocols. During the ban, (essential) travelers going to Belgium were only required to undergo one Covid test upon entry. But now, travelers will be required to take the test twice. The head of the testing and tracing task force, Karine Moykens, relayed, “We are going to monitor testing even better. Now, we will not only contact them at the beginning. If on day 5 we see that they still haven’t made an appointment with the activation code we sent them for the second test, we will contact them again to remind them of the test obligation on day 7.”
Nevertheless, Belgium still closes its borders to travelers coming from certain countries. According to SchengenVisa Info, those coming from India, South Africa, and Brazil are not allowed entry into the country. This is due to the current upsurge in cases and the Covid-19 variants that have originated in said nations.
Although essential workers and diplomats will still be allowed to enter Belgium, other travelers will not be welcomed. The country has even gone as far as to work with the EU to ensure that passengers from said countries will not be allowed to enter through transit. “The transport of passengers by plane, train, boat, and bus, including transit, from India, Brazil, and South Africa to Belgium will be prohibited,” announced Belgian Prime Minister Alexander De Croo through an official statement.
Those hoping to go to Belgium by this summer still have one hope: the Digital Green Certificate. Introduced by the EU back in March 2021, it's an online document showing proof that the traveler has either been vaccinated, tested negative, or has recovered from Covid-19. The EU plans to officially implement this and make the Digital Green Certificates available by June 2021. It's important to note, however, especially to those coming from non-EU countries, that these certificates do not serve as replacements for valid passports or Schengen Visas. Both are still needed, alongside the Digital Gree Certificate, to enter any EU country.