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Exercise a high degree of caution in Belgium due to the risk of terrorist attack.
Exercise a high degree of caution in Belgium due to the risk of terrorist attack.
Health advice due to COVID-19 is continually changing. Rules and restrictions to prevent outbreaks can change quickly. It’s important to regularly check the rules in the destinations you’re travelling to and transiting through.
Full travel advice: Safety
Full travel advice: Health
Full travel advice: Local laws
Full travel advice: Travel
Belgium's National Terrorism Threat is level two of four. This means a threat exists. Brussels hosts several international institutions (EU and NATO) and government and foreign embassy buildings, which are sensitive locations.
Previous attacks include:
More attacks may happen at any time.
Crowded places may be the target of an attack, such as:
Belgian police continue to conduct anti-terror operations. These may occur with little or no warning.
If you're in the area of a police operation:
Enhanced security arrangements are in place at the Australian Embassy in Brussels. Visitors must pass a security screening. Don't bring your luggage with you.
To protect yourself from terrorism:
Terrorism is a threat worldwide.
Public Alert System
The Belgian Government provides information in the case of emergencies through the Belgian Crisis Centre (available in French, Dutch or German) and social media (Facebook and Twitter). You can also register to be notified in an emergency through the Belgian Public Alert System (Be-Alert).
Crimes such as theft, mugging, pickpocketing and bag snatching are common in urban and tourist areas. Theft on board intercity and international trains is also common.
Hotspots for crime include the popular tourist spots in:
Pickpockets also target passengers in transportation hubs such as the Metro, train stations and airports.
Incidents of petty crime on trains along the Paris-Brussels-Amsterdam and Brussels-London routes are frequent.
Thieves often work in teams of 2 or 3. They distract victims by:
To stay safe from crime:
Violent crime is uncommon. However, incidents have been on the rise.
Public protests and events that draw large groups of people can turn violent.
Demonstrations are common, often directed at:
Belgium often hosts large international meetings. Heads of state, senior government and business figures may attend.
Before and during these meetings, authorities often increase security measures around Brussels or other parts of Belgium. This may disrupt travel.
To avoid issues:
Severe weather can affect your travel. Monitor local media for updates.
If you plan to visit an affected area:
Register with the Global Disaster Alert and Coordination System to receive alerts on major disasters.
Get comprehensive travel insurance before you leave.
Your policy needs to cover all overseas medical costs, including medical evacuation. The Australian Government won't pay for these costs.
If you can't afford travel insurance, you can't afford to travel. This applies to everyone, no matter how healthy and fit you are.
If you're not insured, you may have to pay many 1000s of dollars up-front for medical care.
Consider your physical and mental health before you travel, especially if you have an existing medical condition. Consider whether you may be in a vulnerable category for COVID-19.
See your doctor or travel clinic to:
Do this at least 8 weeks before you leave.
If you have immediate concerns for your welfare, or the welfare of another Australian call the 24-hour Consular Emergency Centre on +61 2 6261 3305 or contact your nearest Australian Embassy, High Commission or Consulate to discuss counselling hotlines and services available in your location.
Not all medication available over the counter or by prescription in Australia is available in other countries. Some may even be considered illegal or a controlled substance, even if prescribed by an Australian doctor.
If you plan to bring medication, check if it's legal in Belgium. Take enough legal medication for your trip.
Carry a copy of your prescription or a letter from your doctor stating:
COVID-19 remains a risk in Belgium. If you're feeling unwell and have recently been to a COVID-19-affected area or have been in contact with someone who has, contact a medical professional for advice. Unless otherwise advised, you shouldn't visit a GP's office or an emergency department.
For information on Belgium's COVID−19 vaccination program, refer to Belgium's official rollout plan. You should consult your local health professional for advice on vaccine options, including assistance that may be available locally. The Australian Government cannot provide advice on the safety, quality and efficacy of vaccines that have been approved for use outside of Australia's regulatory process.
There have been outbreaks of measles in Belgium. Make sure your vaccinations are up-to-date before you travel.
The standard of medical facilities is high.
Belgium and Australia have a reciprocal health care agreement. You can get subsidised treatment in the Belgian public health system, including:
To access the reciprocal health care agreement, you must present your:
You may need to pay at the time of treatment and get reimbursed from a Belgian health insurance fund ('mutuelle').
The reciprocal health care agreement does not cover treatment in:
If you're a private patient, you'll need to pay for any treatment, services or medicine you receive.
The reciprocal health care agreement doesn't replace the need for travel insurance.
You're subject to all local laws and penalties, including those that may appear harsh by Australian standards. Research local laws before travelling.
If you're arrested or jailed, the Australian Government will do what it can to help you under our Consular Services Charter. But we can't get you out of trouble or out of jail.
Laws relating to drugs are similar to those of Australia.
You must carry your passport or a Belgian government-issued ID at all times.
Some Australian criminal laws still apply when you're overseas. If you break these laws, you may face prosecution in Australia.
Every country or territory decides who can enter or leave through its borders. For specific information about the evidence you'll need to enter a foreign destination, including COVID-19 vaccinations and tests, check with the nearest embassy, consulate or immigration department of the destination you're entering.
Belgium is a part of the Schengen area, along with many other European countries. This means you can enter Belgium without a visa in some cases.
In other situations, get a visa before you travel.
Always carry your passport when you cross borders, even in the Schengen area
Entry and exit conditions can change at short notice. Contact the nearest embassy or consulate for details about visas, currency, customs and quarantine rules.
Belgium has lifted the ban on non-essential travel from outside the EU. You're no longer required to complete a Passenger Locator Form (PLF), a COVID-19 vaccination or recovery certificate, or a negative COVID-19 test. Check the Belgian Government website for the latest information.
No countries inside or outside the EU or Schengen Area are currently listed as 'very high-risk'. However, this may change at short notice due to the unpredictability of COVID-19.
The list of countries classified as 'very high-risk' is available on the Belgian Government website.
You should also check whether your airline has any additional requirements before travel.
Some travel restrictions and health measures may still be imposed between some Schengen Area countries. You may still need to provide proof of your vaccination against COVID-19, a negative COVID-19 test certificate, vaccination or a certificate of recovery from COVID-19. Check our travel advice for each country on their specific entry rules and requirements, as these may apply if you have travelled from Belgium.
Travel from a very high-risk zone inside the EU or Schengen Area
If you're travelling from a very high-risk zone inside the EU or Schengen Area, you don't need to quarantine or get tested if you have a complete vaccination certificate.
If you don't have a complete vaccination certificate, you're required to:
Regardless of whether you complete a COVID-19 PCR test before or on arrival in Belgium, you'll still need to complete a COVID-19 PCR test on your seventh day in Belgium. Only PCR tests are accepted.
Travel from a very high-risk zone outside the EU and Schengen area
If you're in a very high-risk country outside the EU or Schengen Area, you can't travel to Belgium unless:
More information on criteria and requirements for travel is available on the Belgian Government website.
If you fall under one of the limited exception categories, you're required to:
You must also carry an Essential Travel Certificate or official document to travel to Belgium for an essential reason. Further information is available on the Belgian Government website.
You must quarantine for 10 days, even if you're fully vaccinated or have been in a very high-risk country for less than 48 hours. You'll need to get tested on the first and seventh days after your arrival. Only PCR tests are accepted.
Increased security measures are in force at international airports and train stations.
Carry your passport when you enter or exit Belgium, even by road or rail.
Contact your airline or travel agent for updates or check-in requirements.
Some countries won't let you enter unless your passport is valid for 6 months after you plan to leave that country. This can apply even if you're just transiting or stopping over.
Some foreign governments and airlines apply the rule inconsistently. Travellers can receive conflicting advice from different sources.
You can end up stranded if your passport is not valid for more than 6 months.
The Australian Government does not set these rules. Check your passport's expiry date before you travel. If you're not sure it'll be valid for long enough, consider getting a new passport.
Your passport is a valuable document. It's attractive to people who may try to use your identity to commit crimes.
Some people may try to trick you into giving them your passport. Always keep it in a safe place.
If your passport is lost or stolen, tell the Australian Government as soon as possible:
Belgium's currency is the Euro.
ATMs are widely available.
If you're travelling between Belgium and a non-EU country, declare currency of 10,000 euros or more or equivalent. This covers all forms of currency, not only cash.
You'll be fined if you don't declare currency or give incorrect information on entry or exit.
You don't need to declare currency if you're travelling to or from another EU country.
COVID-19 restrictions have eased across Belgium. Wearing a face mask is still recommended, including in indoor areas, crowded areas and places where adequate social distancing can't be guaranteed.
Face masks are mandatory when visiting healthcare facilities. More information is available on the Belgian Ministry of Health's website.
You're no longer required to present a COVID Safe Ticket (CST) when visiting restaurants, cafes, cinemas, gyms etc.
International organisations based in Belgium (including the European Parliament and NATO) may still have restrictions in place for external visitors.
Forms and certificates
A COVID Safe Ticket (CST) showing proof of vaccination or recovery from COVID-19 is no longer required to access certain venues across Belgium. A complete COVID-19 vaccination or recovery certificate may still be required to travel around the EU or Schengen Area.
Residents in Belgium coming from a third country outside the EU may register their COVID-19 vaccinations administered abroad in the Belgian system (Vaccinet application) by making an explicit request to their regular doctor based on available official documents. Only those who have been vaccinated with vaccines recognised in Belgium (certified by EMA or Covishield) can obtain a Belgian vaccination certificate.
Belgium recognises vaccinations approved by the European Medicines Agency (Pfizer/BioNTech, Moderna, AstraZeneca/Oxford, Janssen, Covishield). You're considered fully vaccinated against COVID-19 in Belgium from 2 weeks (14 days) after your last dose.
Anyone vaccinated with a single dose (Janssen) or two doses (Pfizer/BioNTech, Moderna, AstraZeneca/Oxford) before 1 October 2021 must have had their booster vaccination by 1 March. Otherwise, from 1 March, the validity of the vaccination certificate will expire 150 days after the final dose of your primary vaccination. If you've received your booster dose, your booster vaccination is considered valid indefinitely. These requirements only apply to those 18 years and older.
For short visits, you'll need both:
Car rental companies may require both documents.
You must be at least 18 years old to drive in Belgium.
If you register as a resident with a local commune, you'll need to change your Australian driver's licence for a Belgian licence.
Communes usually require the date of issue of your Australian licence. If your licence doesn't show this, contact your state or territory licensing authority for official notice that states the date of issue.
Road conditions and road safety are very good throughout the country. The 'priority to the right' system is in effect in Belgium.
Drivers must give way to vehicles approaching from the right at intersections. This is often a surprise to foreign drivers and results in accidents.
Check that your travel insurance policy covers you when riding a motorbike.
Always wear a helmet.
Targets for unlicensed taxis include high-traffic destinations, such as:
Rideshare options are available.
Pickpockets operate on intercity and international trains.
Pay close attention to valuables and your passport on trains and other forms of public transport.
Check Belgian Rail for bookings and any service interruptions.
DFAT doesn't provide information on the safety of individual commercial airlines or flight paths.
See Belgium's air safety profile with the Aviation Safety Network.
Depending on what you need, contact your:
Contact the nearest police station if it isn't an emergency.
Always get a police report when you report a crime.
Your insurer should have a 24-hour emergency number.
Contact your provider with any complaints about tourist services or products.
Read the Consular Services Charter for what the Australian Government can and can't do to help you overseas.
Level 7, Avenue des Arts/Kunstlaan 56
1000 Brussels, Belgium
Phone: (+32 2) 286 0500
Fax: (+32 2) 286 0576
Facebook: Australian Embassy, Brussels
Check the Embassy website for details about opening hours and any temporary closures.
Enhanced security is in place at the Australian Embassy in Brussels. Visitors must pass a security screening. Don't bring luggage with you.
In a consular emergency, if you can't contact an embassy, call the 24-hour Consular Emergency Centre on:
Be the first to know official government advice when travelling.