Entry requirements

This page reflects the UK government’s understanding of current rules for people travelling on a full ‘British Citizen’ passport, for the most common types of travel.

The authorities in Belgium set and enforce entry rules. For further information contact their embassy. You may also check with your transport provider or travel company to make sure your passport and travel documents meet their requirements.

If you are travelling to Belgium for work, read the guidance on visas and permits as the rules have changed since 1 January 2021.

Entry rules in response to coronavirus (COVID-19)

Belgium operates a travel colour code traffic light system, identifying very high, high, medium and low risk regions. Entry requirements vary depending on the colour code assigned to the country or region a person is travelling from, and whether an individual is resident in Belgium or another country.

There are also different entry requirements for travellers aged 12 and over who are fully vaccinated (classified as being from two weeks after a final dose) and unvaccinated. See ‘Demonstrating your COVID-19 status’ below.

Entering Belgium from the UK

The UK is currently classified as red zone (high risk) on the Belgian government’s travel colour code system. If you do not hold a Belgian, EU Digital COVID Certificate or an equivalent recognised by Belgium such as a NHS COVID Pass or certificate with a QR code from England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, you are considered to be unvaccinated by the Belgian government and should follow entry requirements for unvaccinated travellers.

Travellers who are staying in Belgium for less than 48 hours must complete the Belgian Passenger Locator Form, but are not required to quarantine or take a test. This does not apply to travellers returning from a third country classified as a very high-risk zone (see the Belgian government’s website).

Travellers who are fully vaccinated with a Belgian, EU Vaccination Certificate or an NHS COVID Pass or certificate with a QR code (England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland)

You must:

  • complete a Passenger Locator Form (PLF), unless you fall under a very limited list of exemptions listed on the Belgian government website (under the Transport and International section)

  • take a test on day 1 or 2 after arrival and quarantine until you receive a negative result. Alternatively, you can provide evidence of a negative PCR test upon arrival, taken no more than 72 hours before arrival in Belgium. If you have a negative pre-departure test, you do not need to take tests on day 1 or day 2.

All arrivals from countries classified as high-risk, which currently includes the UK, are required to take a test on day 7, even if you are fully vaccinated and provided evidence of a negative pre-departure test. If any of the test results are positive, you must self-isolate in line with Belgian government guidance.

Further details are listed on the Belgian government’s website.

Travellers who are not fully vaccinated, or vaccinated with a vaccine or certificate not recognised by Belgium

If you fall under this category you will only be able to travel to Belgium for a very limited set of reasons, set out on the Belgian government’s website (under the Transport and International section).

You must:

  • carry documentation that proves your essential reason for travel. You may need an Essential Travel Certificate. Applications need to be submitted to the Embassy of Belgium in the UK at least five days before your departure
  • complete a Passenger Locator Form (PLF), unless you fall under an exemption listed on the Belgian government website (under the Transport and International section)
  • non-residents must provide evidence of a negative PCR test, taken within 72 hours before arrival
  • quarantine for 10 days on arrival and take a PCR test on day 1 and day 7. If the day 7 result is negative, you may end quarantine early.

Residents of Belgium who fall under this category will be able to enter Belgium, but should also be prepared to show valid proof of residence. Children under 12 do not need to be tested but must respect the quarantine requirements that apply to the adult(s) with whom they are travelling. A list of exemptions from quarantine and testing requirements is included on the Belgian government website.

Children under 18

Children under 18 can travel with a fully vaccinated adult without the requirement for an essential travel certificate. Those over 12 who are not fully vaccinated must follow quarantine requirements. Belgium do not consider children who have received one dose of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine to be fully vaccinated.

Demonstrating your COVID-19 status

Belgian authorities will accept the England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland versions of the NHS COVID Pass as proof of vaccination to allow entry to Belgium. These must include a verifiable QR code. If you are not yet fully vaccinated (two weeks following your final dose) you should follow the advice for unvaccinated travellers. Your NHS appointment card from vaccination centres is not designed to be used as proof of vaccination and should not be used to demonstrate your vaccine status.

Entering Belgium from other countries

You should consult the list of countries that fall under the red, orange and green categories and those identified as high risk on the Belgian government website before travel. Full details of the rules that apply including certification, testing and quarantine requirements are also outlined.

From 17 September, the Brussels Capital Region introduced new measures requiring all travellers arriving from a red zone (including certain regions within the EU) who have not been fully vaccinated to follow a mandatory ten-day quarantine requirement and undergo COVID-19 testing on the first and seventh day. Quarantine can be ended if the day 7 test proves to be negative. These additional measures do not apply in Flanders or Wallonia.

Travellers arriving by aeroplane, boat, train or bus from outside the EU or Schengen area and those coming from within the EU and staying in Belgium for more than 48 hours, must complete the Belgian Passenger Locator Form (PLF) before travel. You must carry proof of the completed PLF throughout your journey and for the following 48 hours. Further details are on the Belgian government’s website.

Further information

Further information on how to quarantine is available on the Belgian government’s website, together with further details on how and when to get tested.

If you are travelling through France, you should also check the France Travel Advice.

Please note that transport services are subject to change, so please check with your transport operator before travel, including whether they will require evidence of a negative COVID-19 test before boarding. Further information on travel to Belgium can be found on the Belgian government Coronavirus website.

Regular entry requirements

Visas

The rules for travelling or working in European countries changed on 1 January 2021:

  • you can travel to countries in the Schengen area for up to 90 days in any 180-day period without a visa. This applies if you travel as a tourist, to visit family or friends, to attend business meetings, cultural or sports events, or for short-term studies or training

  • if you are travelling to Belgium and other Schengen countries without a visa, make sure your whole visit is within the 90-day limit. Visits to Schengen countries within the previous 180 days before you travel count towards your 90 days

  • to stay longer, to work or study, for business or for other reasons, you will need to meet the Belgian government’s entry requirements. Check with the Belgian Embassy what type of visa and/or work permit, you may need

  • if you stay in Belgium with a residence permit or long-stay visa, this does not count towards your 90-day visa-free limit

Any time you spent in Belgium or other Schengen countries before 1 January 2021 does not count towards your 90-day visa-free limit.

At Belgian border control, you may need to use separate lanes from EU, EEA and Swiss citizens when queueing. Your passport may be stamped on entry and exit. You may also need to:

  • show a return or onward ticket
  • show you have enough money for your stay

There are separate requirements for those who are resident in Belgium. If you are resident in Belgium, you should carry proof of residence as well as your valid passport when you travel. For further information on these requirements, see our Living in Belgium guide.

Passport validity

Check your passport is valid for travel before you book your trip, and renew your passport if you do not have enough time left on it.

Make sure your passport is:

  • valid for at least 3 months after the day you plan to leave Belgium, or any other Schengen country
  • less than 10 years old

The 3 months you need when leaving a country must be within 10 years of the passport issue date.

If you renewed your current passport before the previous one expired, extra months may have been added to its expiry date. Any extra months on your passport over 10 years may not count towards the minimum 3 months needed.

UK Emergency Travel Documents

UK Emergency Travel Documents (ETDs) are accepted for entry, airside transit and exit from Belgium.