Embassy of Belgium in Australia
Home COVID-19: Useful information

COVID-19: Useful information

Last updated: 21 October 2020

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS (FAQs)

 

Q1: Can Belgian citizens go back to Belgium?
A:  Belgian citizens can return to Belgium from anywhere in the world.

See Q7 below for more information about quarantine and testing requirements.

 

Q2: Can visa holders go to Belgium?

A: Travelers holding a valid Belgian residency card and who are currently registered in a Belgian city hall, can enter Belgium.

Residents of Australia and New Zealand can travel to Belgium if they hold a valid visa. Not all travelers need a visa. For residents of Australia and New Zealand the situation is now the same as before the Covid-19 crisis.

 

Q3: Can EU citizens enter Belgium?
A: Yes, nationals of an EU or Schengen country can enter Belgium.

 

Q4: Can you travel from outside the EU+ to Belgium?
A:  From 26 September 2020, residents from Australia and New Zealand may travel to Belgium under the same conditions as before the Covid-19 crisis. This means that travel no longer needs to be essential, and the Embassy of Belgium in Canberra can now accept all visa applications by people residing in Australia or New Zealand (see visa section on this website).

The ban for travel to Belgium from all other countries under our jurisdiction  is still in place until further notice. Exceptions can be applied for on a case by case basis for:

i. health professionals, researchers in the field of health and professionals in the care of the elderly;

ii. border workers;

iii. seasonal workers in the agricultural sector;

iv. transport staff;

v. diplomats, staff of international organizations and persons who are invited by international organizations and whose physical presence is necessary for the proper functioning of these organizations, military personnel, humanitarian workers and civil defense personnel in the exercise of their functions;

vi. passengers in transit;

vii. passengers traveling for imperative family reasons;

viii. seafarers;

ix. people in need of international protection or for other humanitarian reasons;

x. third country nationals who travel for the purpose of study;

xi. highly qualified third-country nationals if their employment is necessary from an economic point of view and their work cannot be postponed or carried out abroad.

See Q7 below for more information about quarantine & testing requirements.

 

Q5: I am in Australia, New Zealand or the Pacific and I want to go back to Belgium. What should I do?
A: We advise you to make use of the reasonably priced commercial options that are available. There are no Belgian repatriation flights planned from Australia, New Zealand or the Pacific.

 

Q6: Which airlines are flying from New Zealand/Australia to Belgium/Europe?

A: Qatar Airways, Emirates, Singapore Airlines & Etihad Airways are currently flying from Australian and New Zealand capital cities to Europe. Air New Zealand is operating flights from New Zealand to Australia. The situation changes rapidly so more commercial options could become available. Please refer to the airlines websites for information about flight schedules and Covid-19 safety requirements. Information about international travel regulations can be found on the IATA website: https://www.iatatravelcentre.com/international-travel-document- news/1580226297.htm?pub=autodetect. It is your responsibility to verify you meet all requirements from the airline company and from the transit country.

For transits in Australia, please note that the Australian government has capped the daily number of arrivals at Australian airports (a transit of more than 8 hours is classed as an arrival). We strongly advise you to ensure your transit time in Australia is less than 8 hours to avoid problems with your transfer.

 

Q7: If I go back to Belgium, do I need to go into quarantine and get tested?
A: All arrivals must fill in the Public Health Passenger Locator Form before traveling (see https://travel.info-coronavirus.be/). Arrivals from Australia and New Zealand no longer need to undergo Covid-19 testing or quarantine upon arrival in Belgium. Covid-19 testing and quarantine are still mandatory for arrivals from all other countries under our jurisdiction. See https://diplomatie.belgium.be/en. Quarantine and testing are a responsibility of the relevant communities and regions.

Wearing a mask is compulsory in most public spaces.

Please consult https://www.info-coronavirus.be/en/faq/ for more information.

 

Q8: Do I need to register on https://travellersonline.diplomatie.be/ if I am a Belgian citizen abroad?
A: Yes, subscribing to TravellersOnline is strongly recommended since this is a way for the Belgian government to know that you are abroad and to contact you if needed.

 

Q9: I need consular assistance.
A: Please contact the embassy in Canberra for consular assistance. If you are experiencing financial difficulties, we advise you to firstly contact family or friends for help. Western Union branches are still operational and provide the option of fast and easy money transfers. Belgians abroad who become unemployed or experience financial hardship are not eligible for Belgian unemployment/financial hardship benefits (OCMW).

 

Q10: My visa for Australia expires and I cannot travel back to Belgium in time. What should I do?
A: The best source of information concerning all your questions regarding your visa/visa extension is the Australian Department of Home Affairs website: https://covid19.homeaffairs.gov.au/. Temporary visa holders who are working in critical sectors such as healthcare and agriculture, and those who are unable to leave Australia and are not eligible to apply for another visa to remain lawfully, may apply for a Temporary Activity (subclass 408) visa: https://immi.homeaffairs.gov.au/visas/getting-a-visa/visa-listing/temporary-activity-408

 

Q11: My visa for New Zealand expires and I cannot travel back to Belgium in time. What should I do?
A: The best source of information concerning all your questions regarding your visa/visa extension is the New Zealand Department of Home Affairs website: https://www.immigration.govt.nz/.

 

Q12: Can Belgians travel to Australia, New Zealand or the Pacific?
A: The Belgian government has banned all non-essential travel for Belgian citizens outside of the EU. This ban is being evaluated by the Belgian National Security Council on a regular basis. See https://diplomatie.belgium.be/en for more information.

Besides, Australia, New Zealand and the Pacific islands have strict travel bans as well:

  • Australia: https://www.covid19.homeaffairs.gov.au/coming-australia. Only Australian citizens, permanent residents, immediate family members of an Australian citizen or permanent resident, or New Zealand citizens can travel to Australia. Travelers who have a compassionate or compelling reason to travel to Australia will need to have an exemption from the Australian Border Force Commissioner. All travelers arriving in Australia must undertake mandatory 14-day quarantine at their own cost at designated facilities (for example, a hotel) in their port of arrival.​
  • New Zealand: The New Zealand border is currently closed to almost all travelers wanting to travel to New Zealand by either air or sea. See https://immigration.govt.nz for details. All travelers to New Zealand will be strictly managed and undergo 14 days of quarantine or managed self-isolation at their own cost in a government-approved facility.
  • Pacific Islands: see the Belgian foreign affairs website for up to date travel advice for the Pacific Islands: https://diplomatie.belgium.be/en/services/travelling_abroad/travel_advice_by_country.

 

Q13: Where can I find information about the financial rights of travelers in the context of the pandemic?
A: The following website provides information about financial disputes and financial rights of travelers in the context of the Coronavirus crisis: https://economie.fgov.be.

 

Q14: I have a dispute with my travel agent or airline. Where can I get help?
A: The travel disputes committee can act as an intermediary between customers and travel agents or airlines in a dispute situation: https://www.clv-gr.be.

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Last updated: 9 Sep 2020

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS (FAQs)

Q1: Can Belgian citizens go back to Belgium?
A:  Belgian citizens can return to Belgium from anywhere in the world. See Q8 below for more information about quarantine and testing requirements.

 

Q2: Can visa holders go to Belgium?

A: Travelers holding a valid Belgian residency card and currently registered in a Belgian city hall, can enter Belgium.

 

Q3: Can EU citizens enter Belgium?
A: Yes, nationals of an EU or Schengen country can enter Belgium.

 

Q4: Can you travel from outside the EU+ to Belgium?

A:  The ban for travel to Belgium from outside of the EU+ is still in place until further notice. Exceptions can be applied for on a case by case basis for:

i. health professionals, researchers in the field of health and professionals in the care of the elderly;

ii. border workers;

iii. seasonal workers in the agricultural sector;

iv. transport staff;

v. diplomats, staff of international organizations and persons who are invited by international organizations and whose physical presence is necessary for the proper functioning of these organizations, military personnel, humanitarian workers and civil defense personnel in the exercise of their functions;

vi. passengers in transit;

vii. passengers traveling for imperative family reasons;

viii. seafarers;

ix. people in need of international protection or for other humanitarian reasons;

x. third country nationals who travel for the purpose of study;

xi. highly qualified third-country nationals if their employment is necessary from an economic point of view and their work cannot be postponed or carried out abroad.

See Q8 below for more information about quarantine & testing requirements.

 

Q5: Can a de facto partner of a Belgian citizen travel to Belgium for a short stay?

A: From the 1st September 2020, a de facto partner of a Belgian citizen will be allowed to enter Belgium if they intend to stay no more than 90 days. They will need to prove their relationship, and meet the requirements to enter the Schengen area. More information can be found on: https://dofi.ibz.be/sites/dvzoe/EN/Pages/Travel-to-Belgium.aspx.

 

Q6: I am in Australia, New Zealand or the Pacific and I want to go back to Belgium. What should I do?
A: We advise you to make use of the reasonably priced commercial options that are available. There are no Belgian repatriation flights planned from Australia, New Zealand or the Pacific.

 

Q7: Which airlines are flying from New Zealand/Australia to Belgium/Europe?

A: Qatar Airways, Emirates, Singapore Airlines & Etihad Airways are currently flying from Australian and New Zealand capital cities to Europe. Air New Zealand is operating flights from New Zealand to Australia. The situation changes rapidly so more commercial options could become available. Please refer to the airlines websites for information about flight schedules and Covid-19 safety requirements. Information about international travel regulations can be found on the IATA website: https://www.iatatravelcentre.com/international-travel-document- news/1580226297.htm?pub=autodetect. It is your responsibility to verify you meet all requirements from the airline company and from the transit country.

For transits in Australia, please note that the Australian government has capped the daily number of arrivals at Australian airports (a transit of more than 8 hours is classed as an arrival). We strongly advise you to ensure your transit time in Australia is less than 8 hours to avoid problems with your transfer.

 

Q8: If I go back to Belgium, do I need to go into quarantine and get tested?
A: All arrivals must fill in the Public Health Passenger Locator Form before traveling (see https://travel.info-coronavirus.be/). Arrivals from outside the EU+ and from high-risk areas inside the EU+ must also undergo 14 days quarantine and Covid-19 testing upon arrival in Belgium. See https://diplomatie.belgium.be/en.Quarantine and testing are a responsibility of the relevant communities and regions.

Wearing a mask is compulsory in most public spaces.

Please consult https://www.info-coronavirus.be/en/faq/ for more information.

 

Q9: Do I need to register on https://travellersonline.diplomatie.be/ if I am a Belgian citizen abroad?
A: Yes, subscribing to TravellersOnline is strongly recommended since this is a way for the Belgian government to know that you are abroad and to contact you if needed.

 

Q10: I need consular assistance.
A: Please contact the embassy in Canberra for consular assistance. If you are experiencing financial difficulties, we advise you to firstly contact family or friends for help. Western Union branches are still operational and provide the option of fast and easy money transfers. Belgians abroad who become unemployed or experience financial hardship are not eligible for Belgian unemployment/financial hardship benefits (OCMW).

 

Q11: My visa for Australia expires and I cannot travel back to Belgium in time. What should I do?
A: The best source of information concerning all your questions regarding your visa/visa extension is the Australian Department of Home Affairs website: https://covid19.homeaffairs.gov.au/. Temporary visa holders who are working in critical sectors such as healthcare and agriculture, and those who are unable to leave Australia and are not eligible to apply for another visa to remain lawfully, may apply for a Temporary Activity (subclass 408) visa: https://immi.homeaffairs.gov.au/visas/getting-a-visa/visa-listing/temporary-activity-408

 

Q12: My visa for New Zealand expires and I cannot travel back to Belgium in time. What should I do?
A: The best source of information concerning all your questions regarding your visa/visa extension is the New Zealand Department of Home Affairs website: https://www.immigration.govt.nz/.

 

Q13: Can Belgians travel to Australia, New Zealand or the Pacific?
A: The Belgian government has banned all non-essential travel for Belgian citizens outside of the EU. This ban is being evaluated by the Belgian National Security Council on a regular basis. See https://diplomatie.belgium.be/en for more information.

Besides, Australia, New Zealand and the Pacific islands have strict travel bans as well:

  • Australia: https://www.covid19.homeaffairs.gov.au/coming-australia. Only Australian citizens, permanent residents, immediate family members of an Australian citizen or permanent resident, or New Zealand citizens usually resident in Australia, can travel to Australia. Travelers who have a compassionate or compelling reason to travel to Australia will need to have an exemption from the Australian Border Force Commissioner. All travelers arriving in Australia must undertake mandatory 14-day quarantine at their own cost at designated facilities (for example, a hotel) in their port of arrival.​

  • New Zealand: The New Zealand border is currently closed to almost all travelers wanting to travel to New Zealand by either air or sea. See https://immigration.govt.nz for details. All travelers to New Zealand will be strictly managed and undergo 14 days of quarantine or managed self-isolation at their own cost in a government-approved facility.

  • Pacific Islands: see the Belgian foreign affairs website for up to date travel advice for the Pacific Islands: https://diplomatie.belgium.be/en/services/travelling_abroad/travel_advice_by_country.

 

Q14: Where can I find information about the financial rights of travelers in the context of the pandemic?
A: The following website provides information about financial disputes and financial rights of travelers in the context of the Coronavirus crisis: https://economie.fgov.be.

 

Q15: I have a dispute with my travel agent or airline. Where can I get help?
A: The travel disputes committee can act as an intermediary between customers and travel agents or airlines in a dispute situation: https://www.clv-gr.be.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Update 23 July 2020

Important information about travelling to Belgium:

  1. Belgian citizens and permanent residents can return to Belgium from anywhere in the world. See 4. below for more information about quarantine & testing requirements.
  2. Non-essential travel by nationals of other countries to Belgium is allowed from EU+ countries (European Union, Schengen countries, UK, Andorra, Monaco, San Marino and Vatican City), with the exception of cities or regions which Belgium has deemed high-risk areas.
  3. The ban for travel to Belgium from outside of the EU+ is still in place until further notice. Exceptions can be applied for on a case by case basis for:

i. health professionals, researchers in the field of health and professionals in the care of the elderly;

ii. border workers;

iii. seasonal workers in the agricultural sector;

iv. transport staff;

v. diplomats, staff of international organizations and persons who are invited by international organizations and whose physical presence is necessary for the proper functioning of these organizations, military personnel, humanitarian workers and civil defence personnel in the exercise of their functions;

vi. passengers in transit;

vii. passengers traveling for imperative family reasons;

viii. seafarers;

ix. people in need of international protection or for other humanitarian reasons;

x. third country nationals who travel for the purpose of study;

xi. highly qualified third-country nationals if their employment is necessary from an economic point of view and their work cannot be postponed or carried out abroad.

  1. All arrivals from outside the EU+ and from high-risk areas inside the EU+ must fill in the Public Health Passenger Locator Form before traveling, and must undergo quarantine and Covid-19 testing upon arrival in Belgium. Quarantine and tests are a responsibility of the relevant communities and regions. Please consult www.info-coronavirus.be.

Futhermore, please note the following information specific to Belgians returning from New Zealand and transiting in Australia:

- The Australian government has capped the daily number of arrivals at Australian airports (a transit of more than 8 hours is classed as an arrival). We strongly advise you to ensure your transit time in Australia is less than 8 hours to avoid problems with your transfer.

 

Last updated: 16 June 2020

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS (FAQs)

Q: Can Belgian citizens go back to Belgium?
A: Yes, any person with Belgian nationality, with or without their main residence in Belgium, long-term residents in Belgium and persons with legal residence in Belgium, may return to Belgium subject to two conditions. The two conditions are that the person must remain in self-isolation at home for 14 days; and the person is prohibited from working outdoors for 14 days (even if they are employed in an essential sector), although teleworking is still permitted. These two conditions apply to returning persons and cover all possible modes of transport used (air, land and sea) for their return.

Q: Which airlines are flying from Australia to Belgium/Europe?

  • A: Qatar Airways is currently flying from Brisbane, Melbourne, Sydney and Perth to Brussels and other European cities (via Doha): https://www.qatarairways.com/en/homepage.html.
  • Emirates will start operating commercial flights from Sydney/Melbourne via Dubai to London** from the 21st of May until the 30th of June: https://www.emirates.com/ae/english/help/travel-updates/#3525. Passengers will have to change planes in Dubai with a transit time of approximately 2 hours. The imposition by the local authorities of health testing (possibly including Covid-19 testing) to all passengers is possible but unlikely due to the short transit time. To be allowed to fly, you will have to book the complete flight path (Sydney or Melbourne – London) and provide proof that you have pre-booked your own transport from London back to Belgium. 
  • Etihad Airways is operating weekly transit flights from Melbourne via Abu Dhabi to London** from 15th of May: https://www.etihad.com/en-au/travel-updates/transit-flights. Passengers will remain on board during the transit in Abu Dhabi. To be allowed to fly, you will have to proof that you have pre-booked your own transport from London back to Belgium.

** Important: Please note that the United Kingdom government has implemented quarantine measures for travellers arriving in the UK. If you are transiting in the UK you are exempt from this requirement as long as you remain airside and do not cross border control: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-travellers-exempt-from-uk-border-rules/coronavirus-covid-19-travellers-exempt-from-uk-border-rules. Before you travel through the UK, you will need to complete a Public Health Passenger Locator Form.

Q: Can Belgians travel to Australia, New Zealand or the Pacific?
A: The Belgian government has banned all non-essential travel outside of the EU. This ban will be evaluated by the Belgian National Security Council in a timely fashion.

Australia, New Zealand and the Pacific islands have strict travel bans:

Australia: https://www.covid19.homeaffairs.gov.au/coming-australia. Only Australian citizens, permanent residents, immediate family members of an Australian citizen or permanent resident, or New Zealand citizens usually resident in Australia, can travel to Australia. Travelers who have a compassionate or compelling reason to travel to Australia will need to have an exemption from the Australian Border Force Commissioner. All travellers arriving in Australia must undertake mandatory 14-day quarantine at designated facilities (for example, a hotel) in their port of arrival.​

New Zealandhttps://immigration.govt.nz. With limited exceptions, temporary visa holders, including work visa holders, can no longer enter New Zealand. All travellers to New Zealand will be strictly managed and undergo 14 days of quarantine or managed self-isolation in a government-approved facility.

Pacific Islands: a travel ban is in place for the Pacific islands.

Q: Do I need to register on https://travellersonline.diplomatie.be/?
A: Yes, this is the only way the Belgian government can contact you if needed.

Q: I am in Australia, New Zealand or the Pacific and I want to go back to Belgium. What should I do?
A: We advise you to make use of the reasonably priced commercial options that are available. There are no Belgian repatriation flights planned from Australia, New Zealand or the Pacific.

Q: I need to transit to fly back to Belgium. Which airports are closed?
A: The situation changes constantly. Find more information via this link from IATA: https://www.iatatravelcentre.com/international-travel-document- news/1580226297.htm?pub=autodetect.
Information on travel Restrictions across the Globe: https://www.nytimes.com/article/coronavirus-travel- restrictions.html?action=click&module=Spotlight&pgtype=Homepage.

Q: If I go back to Belgium, do I need to go into quarantine?
A: All travellers arriving in Belgium from outside the EU have to self-quarantine at home for 14 days. This also applies to the person(s) picking them up from the airport. The website of Public Health mentions what to do upon your return in Belgium: www.info- coronavirus.be

Q: I need consular assistance.
A: Please contact the embassy in Canberra for consular assistance. If you are experiencing financial difficulties, we advise you to firstly contact family or friends for help. Western Union branches are still operational and provide the option of fast and easy money transfers. Belgians abroad who become unemployed or experience financial hardship are not eligible for Belgian unemployment/financial hardship benefits (OCMW).

Q: Are the EU- borders closed?
A: Yes, the EU borders are closed for non-EU nationals and non-EU residents. Please visit the website of the European Council: https://www.consilium.europa.eu/en/press/press-releases/.

Q: Can Belgians travel within the EU?
A: From 15 June 2020 Belgians are allowed to travel to certain countries within the EU: https://diplomatie.belgium.be/en. Please note that the EU borders remain closed for non-EU nationals and non-EU residents.

Q: Can visa holders go to Belgium?
A:  The EU borders are closed for foreigners. The Belgian government strongly advises against travel to Belgium by visa holders. Moreover, a lot of countries (including Australia and New Zealand) have an exit ban in place for their citizens and permanent residents.

Q: My visa for Australia/New Zealand expires and I cannot travel back to Belgium in time. What should I do?
A: The best source of information concerning all your questions regarding your visa/visa extension is the Australian Department of Home Affairs website: https://covid19.homeaffairs.gov.au/. Temporary visa holders who are working in critical sectors such as healthcare and agriculture, and those who are unable to leave Australia and are not eligible to apply for another visa to remain lawfully, may apply for a Temporary Activity (subclass 408) visa: https://immi.homeaffairs.gov.au/visas/getting-a-visa/visa-listing/temporary-activity-408

Q: Where can I find information about the financial rights of travellers in the context of the pandemic?
A: The following website provides information about financial disputes and financial rights of travellers in the context of the Coronavirus crisis: https://economie.fgov.be.

Q: I have a dispute with my travel agent or airline. Where can I get help?
A: The travel disputes committee can act as an intermediary between customers and travel agents or airlines in a dispute situation: https://www.clv-gr.be.

------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Last updated: 19 May 2020

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS (FAQs)

Q : Can Belgian citizens go back to Belgium?
A : Yes, any person with Belgian nationality, with or without their main residence in Belgium, long-term residents in Belgium and persons with legal residence in Belgium, may return to Belgium subject to two conditions. The two conditions are that the person must remain in self-isolation at home for 14 days; and the person is prohibited from working outdoors for 14 days (even if they are employed in an essential sector), although teleworking is still permitted. These two conditions apply to returning persons and cover all possible modes of transport used (air, land and sea) for their return.

Q : Which airlines are flying from Australia to Belgium/Europe?

  • A : Qatar Airways is currently flying from Brisbane, Melbourne, Sydney and Perth to Brussels and other European cities (via Doha): https://www.qatarairways.com/en/homepage.html.
  • Emirates will start operating commercial flights from Sydney/Melbourne via Dubai to London** from the 21st of May until the 30th of June: https://www.emirates.com/ae/english/help/travel-updates/#3525. Passengers will have to change planes in Dubai with a transit time of approximately 2 hours. The imposition by the local authorities of health testing (possibly including Covid-19 testing) to all passengers is possible but unlikely due to the short transit time. To be allowed to fly, you will have to book the complete flight path (Sydney or Melbourne – London) and provide proof that you have pre-booked your own transport from London back to Belgium. 
  • Etihad Airways is operating weekly transit flights from Melbourne via Abu Dhabi to London** from 15th of May: https://www.etihad.com/en-au/travel-updates/transit-flights. Passengers will remain on board during the transit in Abu Dhabi. To be allowed to fly, you will have to proof that you have pre-booked your own transport from London back to Belgium.

** Important: Please note that the United Kingdom government is considering implementing quarantine measures for travellers arriving in the UK. The details about this quarantine are not know yet, but could impact your transit from London to Belgium. Updates will be posted on the following website: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-outbreak-faqs-what-you-can-and-cant-do/coronavirus-outbreak-faqs-what-you-can-and-cant-do.

Q : Can Belgians travel to Australia, New Zealand or the Pacific?
A   : The Belgian government has banned all non-essential travel abroad until 37 June 2020. This ban will be evaluated by the Belgian National Security Council in a timely fashion.

Australia, New Zealand and the Pacific islands have strict travel bans:

Australia: https://www.covid19.homeaffairs.gov.au/coming-australia. Only Australian citizens, permanent residents, immediate family members of an Australian citizen or permanent resident, or New Zealand citizens usually resident in Australia, can travel to Australia. Travelers who have a compassionate or compelling reason to travel to Australia will need to have an exemption from the Australian Border Force Commissioner. All travelers arriving in Australia must undertake a mandatory 14-day quarantine at designated facilities (for example, a hotel) in their port of arrival.​

New Zealand: https://immigration.govt.nz. With limited exceptions, temporary visa holders, including work visa holders, can no longer enter New Zealand. All travelers to New Zealand will be strictly managed and undergo 14 days of quarantine or managed self-isolation in a government-approved facility.

Pacific Islands : a travel ban is in place for the Pacific islands.

Q : Do I need to register on https://travellersonline.diplomatie.be/?
A   : Yes, this is the only way the Belgian government can contact you if needed.

Q : I am in Australia, New Zealand or the Pacific and I want to go back to Belgium. What should I do?
A : We advise you to make use of the reasonably priced commercial options that are available. There are no Belgian repatriation flights planned from Australia, New Zealand or the Pacific.

Q : I need to transit to fly back to Belgium. Which airports are closed?
A : The situation changes constantly. Find more information via this link from IATA: https://www.iatatravelcentre.com/international-travel-document- news/1580226297.htm?pub=autodetect
Information on travel Restrictions across the Globe: https://www.nytimes.com/article/coronavirus-travel- restrictions.html?action=click&module=Spotlight&pgtype=Homepage

Q : If I go back to Belgium, do I need to go into quarantine?
A : Belgians arriving in Belgium have to self-quarantine at home for 14 days. This also applies to the person(s) picking them up from the airport. The website of Public Health mentions what to do upon your return in Belgium: www.info- coronavirus.be

Q : I need consular assistance.
A : Please contact the embassy in Canberra for consular assistance. If you are experiencing financial difficulties, we advise you to firstly contact family or friends for help. Western Union branches are still operational and provide the option of fast and easy money transfers. Belgians abroad who become unemployed or experience financial hardship are not eligible for Belgian unemployment/financial hardship benefits (OCMW).

Q : Are the EU- borders closed ?
A : Yes, the EU borders are closed for non-EU nationals and non-EU residents. Please visit the website of the European Council: https://www.consilium.europa.eu/en/press/press-releases/.

Q : Can visa holders go to Belgium?
A :  The EU borders are closed for foreigners. The Belgian government strongly advises against travel to Belgium by visa holders. Moreover, a lot of countries (including Australia and New Zealand) have an exit ban in place for their citizens and permanent residents.

Q : My visa for Australia/New Zealand expires and I cannot travel back to Belgium in time. What should I do?
A : The best source of information concerning all your questions regarding your visa/visa extension is the Australian Department of Home Affairs website: https://covid19.homeaffairs.gov.au/. Temporary visa holders who are working in critical sectors such as healthcare and agriculture, and those who are unable to leave Australia and are not eligible to apply for another visa to remain lawfully, may apply for a Temporary Activity (subclass 408) visa: https://immi.homeaffairs.gov.au/visas/getting-a-visa/visa-listing/temporary-activity-408

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Last updated: 16 April 2020

  1. Australia :
  • The Australian Government has announced that those who are stranded in Australia as of result of the current Pandemic can apply for a subclass 408 visa to enable an extension of the stay in Australia and remain lawful.  The extension is likely to be six months.  There will be no work rights on the visa unless the interested persons fall within a category of essential work such as health, agriculture or aged care.
  • Importantly there will be no fee for this visa.   It is important to note that the visa is for those that have no other visa options.  It is unclear how this is interpreted but affordability may be sufficient to show you cannot access another visa.
  • Please click the following link to the detail of the visa : https://immi.homeaffairs.gov.au/visas/getting-a-visa/visa-listing/temporary-activity-408/australian-government-endorsed-events#About

 

  1. New Zealand :
  • The effort of putting as much Belgians as possible on EU-repatriation flights from New Zealand to Europe, continues.  The last recommended option for Belgians who wish to return to Belgium on a direct commercial flight Auckland-Doha-Brussels with Qatar Airways will be on Sunday 19th April.  Hereafter, Belgians might need to find other options with a much longer itinerary and higher prices.

 

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS (FAQs)

Q : Can Belgian citizens go back to Belgium?
A : Yes, Belgian citizens and residents of Belgium are allowed to go back to Belgium.

Q : Can I still continue to travel?
A   : The Belgian government strongly discourages all travel at this point in time.

Q : Do I need to register on https://travellersonline.diplomatie.be/?
A   : Yes, this is the only way the Belgian government can contact you if needed.

Q : Will there be a repatriation of Belgians, should the borders close?
A : Belgium is currently organizing repatriations for Belgian who are stuck in other countries. The problems are worldwide: thousands of Belgians are stuck in tens of countries. Should a repatriation be conducted for the Pacific region, you will be informed of this in due time. Currently there is no information on a repatriation from the Pacific region.

Q : If I go back to Belgium, do I need to go into quarantine?
A : Belgians arriving in Belgium have to self-quarantine at home for 14 days. This also applies to the person(s) picking them up from the airport. The website of Public Health mentions what to do upon your return in Belgium: www.info- coronavirus.be

Q : Is the EU- border closed ? Will it close and when?
A : Yes, the borders are closed for 30 days from 17 March. EU nationals and residents are still allowed to enter. There are also exemptions for certain workers, and other people. Please visit the website of the European Council: https://www.consilium.europa.eu/en/press/press-releases/. Several Schengen countries are currently in lockdown.

Q : I need to transit to go to Belgium. Which airports are closed?
A : The situation changes constantly. Find more information via this link from IATA : https://www.iatatravelcentre.com/international-travel-document- news/1580226297.htm?pub=autodetect.
Travel Restrictions across the Globe: visit https://www.nytimes.com/article/coronavirus-travel- restrictions.html?action=click&module=Spotlight&pgtype=Homepage

Q : Can visa D holders go to Belgium?
A : It is currently not advised for foreigners to travel to Belgium.

Q : Can visa C holders go to Belgium (Schengen visa)?
A : The borders are closed for 30 days from 17 March. EU nationals and residents are still allowed to enter. There are some exemptions. Please visit the website of the European Council: https://www.consilium.europa.eu/en/press/press-releases/

Q : I have a long-stay visa in Australia. How long can I stay/ due to the corona virus, can I extend my visa?
A : Please consult your VEVO details to see the expiry date of your visa. If you wish to extend your visa you may request a ‘no further stay waiver’: https://immi.homeaffairs.gov.au/form-listing/forms/1447.pdf

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Last updated: 5 April 2020

Please note: this is not an advertisement or endorsement for Qatar Airways, we are just informing our citizens of available flight options.

Qatar Airways has added additional capacity for travellers wanting to leave Australia. Please see confirmed flight schedule from Australia to Europe as received from the company: /sites/default/files/content/qatar_airways_-_australia-eu_flights_03apr20.pdf.

Please also note the following information as received from the company:

What will happen to my Qatar Airways ticket if things change?

If you have booked or are planning to book your trip back home, Qatar Airways are offering you the flexibility to change your travel plans if needed.

You can either:

1)     Change your date of travel free of charge,

2)     Exchange your ticket for a future travel voucher with 10% additional value, or

3)     Request a refund. For more information click here.

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Last updated: 3 April 2020

Update for people intending to travel from Brisbane with Qatar Airways: we have been advised that Qatar Airways will stop flying from Brisbane from 16 April. The last flight leaving Brisbane will be on 15 April. After that, the only Australian cities they will fly from are Sydney and Melbourne.

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Last updated: 2 April 2020

Information for Belgians stranded in the jurisdiction of the Embassy of Belgium in Canberra:

  1. As a first option, we still encourage you to make use of the available commercial flight options to return to Belgium. There are very reasonably options available, with direct connection with Brussels.
  2. Important update for New Zealand: Foreign nationals in New Zealand can now drive, or take domestic flights, in order to connect with commercial, or chartered, international flights to their home country: https://covid19.govt.nz/latest-updates/domestic-flights-for-foreign-nationals-returning-home/
  3. Repatriation: the embassy does not know if and when a national repatriation flight will be organized to Australia or New Zealand.

You can choose to wait for a repatriation flight organised by the Belgian government to happen, but then be aware that you will be required to reimburse a fair share of the cost of your passage to the Government.

In other words these flights will not be for free. 

The Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr. Philippe GOFFIN explained recently the methodology to calculate that fair share :

The Belgians who wish to take these flights chartered by the Belgian Government have to sign an acknowledgment of debt for the of fee of their passage. The amount of the fee is calculated in a fair, simple an transparent way : the cost of the regular Economy-Class ‘two-way’ ticket is divided by two, and the result is then divided by the number of available seats.”

Please see : https://diplomatie.belgium.be/fr/newsroom/nouvelles/2020/voyageurs_belges_etranger_1_avril  (multiple languages available)

If a repatriation is organised, this will be once only. This means that if you decide not to participate, you will be solely responsible for your return travel.

  1. The embassy is working very hard to place Belgian nationals on repatriation flights already being organised by other EU and non-EU nations, in close cooperation with the other embassies and consulates concerned. Priority will be given to the most vulnerable Belgians. The Embassy will contact these persons directly.

These flights are usually organized in such a way that additional transport to Belgium has to be organized by yourself. (The booking of the last leg of the trip is considered a prerequisite to the boarding on those repatriation flights.)

 

Important: if you do organise your own travel back to Belgium, please let the embassy know (canberra@diplobel.fed.be) once you have arrived safely home. Also, please deregister yourself from Travellersonline https://travellersonline.diplomatie.be). This will allow us to keep our lists up to date.

Please check our website (https://australia.diplomatie.belgium.be/en) and Facebook page (#Embassy of the Kingdom of Belgium in Canberra) regularly for updates.

Other useful sites:

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Last updated: 28 March 2020

  • For our citizens currently located in Australia and looking for a way to come back home : Please take note of these developments: https://www.homeaffairs.gov.au/news-media/current-alerts/novel-coronavirus. This will have implications for domestic flights. But exceptions are foreseen for foreign nationals in transit.
  • New-Zealand : While regretting the decision taken by the NZ Government to overturn its policy regarding repatriation flights, we fully understand the Public health concern motivating it. These are very challenging and uncertain times and each government is motivated by the safety of its own citizens. We hope the situation will soon improve, allowing for a reassessment of the policy. We urge our fellow citizens to be patient and to respect the regulations put in place in NZ to slow down and contain the spread of Covid-19. We understand your concerns and frustration. As soon as conditions will permit, humanitarian flights will resume. In the meanwhile we urge everyone wishing to come back home to register with us (Canberra@diplobel.fed.be ) and provide all the necessary details (full name, passport number, date of birth, location, existing medical condition, e-mail, phone). Thank you for spreading the message. You can also help registering people who have no ability to do it themselves.Keep the good spirit and be helpful to each other.https://www.stuff.co.nz/business/120616342/health-concerns-put-temporary...

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Last updated: 26 March 2020

  1. All telephone lines are currently overloaded. If you are a Belgian citizen, please send a message on : canberra@diplobel.fed.be with your full name, date of birth, passport number, your email address and phone number and your precise location. Call the Emergency line of the Embassy or the Honorary Consulate only in case of extreme emergency.
  2. Interstate Travel in Australia : DFAT announced that their current advice is that foreign nationals can ‘break’ self-isolation in one Australian city to travel to another city to catch an international outbound flight. Local authorities would expect the passenger to travel directly.  At this point there is no system of ‘permits’, but the question involves multiple state jurisdictions and may be subject to change.
  3. Domestic travel within New Zealand : Important notice ! : MFAT notified this Embassy that third country nationals are permitted to transit New Zealand en route to their home destination, subject to certain conditions. However, after midnight Friday 27 March, domestic travel will only be permitted for the transport of people undertaking essential services and the transport of freight. Non-essential service travelers will not be permitted to take domestic flights to connect with international flights after this time.
  4. Hotel accommodation : Accor Hotels offers its support and help to Belgian citizens with accommodation and solitary space (if needed). Accor has a large number of hotels and apartments across  Australia and New Zealand.  They have set up a temporary team to assist the Belgians.  Belgians who are interested can e-mail them on : BusinessTravel.Sales@accor.com
  5. Airlines still operational :
    1. Departures from Auckland : British Airlines, Qatar, Air New Zealand via Canada are operational between 28 March and 31 March. Passengers with onward connections through Hamad International Airport will be accepted for travel and Qatar Airways’ global network will continue its operation for transit passengers as normal, subject to entry restrictions at their final destination.
    2. Departures from Sydney, Brisbane: Qatar, Malaysia Airlines & KLM
  6. Arrival in Belgium : all passengers arriving in Belgium will need to self-quarantine for 14 days.

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Last updated: 24 March 2020
 

A. A repatriation of Belgians who are stranded around the world is being considered and organized country by country if applicable. I wish to make it clear that no decision for the South Pacific region has been taken yet and that it might take several more weeks before it may be decided that a repatriation could take place.

If you wish to be repatriated, please send the Embassy an email with the following information on canberra@diplobel.fed.be:

  • Full name, first name(s)
  • Date of birth
  • Current location (please specify)
  • Passport number (specify your nationality)
  • contact: e-mail and / or telephone number

B. All telephone lines are currently overloaded. Only call the embassy, the Honorary Consulate or the emergency telephone for cases of extreme emergency. Choose where possible for correspondence via e-mail. We will respond to your message as soon as possible.

C. Latest update on Australian State measures concerning declaration of state of Emergency: borders are closed to everyone except for Australian residents, citizens and their family members. Effective from 6.00PM or 1800 AWST Friday, 20 March 2020.

Measures taken by the States:

1. New South Wales: NSW border will stay open for the time being

2. Victoria: Victoria’s borders will remain open for now.

3. Queensland: Queensland's border will close from midnight 25 March with only freight and essential travel allowed.

4. Western Australia: The State Government of WA has declared a State of Emergency under the Emergency Management Act and a Public Health Emergency under the Public Health Act. State of Emergency measures:

  • From 1.30pm (WST) Tuesday, March 24, Western Australia will implement strict border controls for all access points – by road, rail, air and sea.
  • Anyone arriving into Western Australia from overseas will be required to self-isolate for 14 days.
  • Unless exempted, arrivals from interstate will be ordered to self-isolate for 14 days.
  • The WA Police Commissioner is authorized to stop any non-Australian citizens or residents who arrive at WA ports on international cruise ships from disembarking.
  • All non-essential indoor gatherings of greater than 100 people (including staff) will no longer be permitted from Wednesday, 18 March 2020.
  • Restrictions have been placed on travel to WA’s remote Aboriginal communities, with exceptions for delivery of essential services, medical reasons, family or cultural reasons.
  • Non-essential mass gatherings of more than 500 people are banned. Outdoor events of fewer than 500 attendees may proceed providing they follow the measures in place. See updated events and gathering information below.

5. South Australia:

  • Formal restrictions on South Australian borders will come into effect from 4pm, Tuesday 24 March.
  • there will be border controls put into place in an effort to reduce the spread of COVID-19 virus in South Australia.
  • South Australia Police is currently working on the details of what these controls and restrictions will be; including who is exempt from these travel restrictions.

6. Northern Territories:

  • The NT has secured its borders by introducing a two-week quarantine period for anyone arriving in the Territory, with an exception for those providing goods and essential services during the coronavirus pandemic.
  • From 4:00 pm Tuesday 24 March, all non-essential travellers arriving at the Territory borders will be required to go through a police control checkpoint to verify their medical status and purpose of their travel into the Territory.
  • They will also be required to self-isolate for 14 days upon arrival, with penalties for those who do not comply.

7. Tasmania:

  • From midnight, Friday 20 March, all non-essential travellers departing for Tasmania are required to quarantine for 14 days.
  • The quarantine period will not apply to essential travellers – such as health care workers, emergency workers, defence personnel, air and ship crew, specialists, and essential freight personnel (truck drivers/spirit freight), and there will be stringent guidelines to manage this.
  • Travel restrictions do not apply to Tasmanian residents, however they will apply to anyone travelling inbound to the island from mainland Australia including residents returning home to the island. Mainland Australians flying into King and Flinders, then onto mainland Tasmania will need to self- quarantine when they arrive.
  • All passengers will be screened on arrival and must demonstrate they meet the essential traveller criteria.
  • If they are deemed non-essential, they will be directed to quarantine themselves at their stated place of address. Tasmania Police and Biosecurity Tasmania will ensure compliance with the quarantine measures, helping people to access support and follow up to ensure the process is adhered to.

 

Please find herewith the latest travel information (updated 23 March):

 
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS (FAQs)

Q : Can Belgian citizens go back to Belgium?
A : Yes, Belgian citizens and residents of Belgium are allowed to go back to Belgium.

Q : Can I still continue to travel?
A   : The Belgian government strongly discourages all travel at this point in time.

Q : Do I need to register on https://travellersonline.diplomatie.be/?
A   : Yes, this is the only way the Belgian government can contact you if needed.

Q : Will there be a repatriation of Belgians, should the borders close?
A : Belgium is currently organizing repatriations for Belgian who are stuck in other countries. The problems are worldwide: thousands of Belgians are stuck in tens of countries. Should a repatriation be conducted for the Pacific region, you will be informed of this in due time. Currently there is no information on a repatriation from the Pacific region.

Q : If I go back to Belgium, do I need to go into quarantine?
A : No, at this stage, no quarantine has been imposed. The website of  Public Health mentions what to do upon your return in Belgium: www.info- coronavirus.be

Q : Is the EU- border closed ? Will it close and when?
A : Yes, the borders are closed for 30 days from 17 March. EU nationals and residents are still allowed to enter. There are also exemptions for certain workers, and other people. Please visit the website of the European Council: https://www.consilium.europa.eu/en/press/press-releases/. Several Schengen countries are currently in lockdown.

Q : I need to transit to go to Belgium. Which airports are closed?
A : The situation changes constantly. Find more information via this link from IATA : https://www.iatatravelcentre.com/international-travel-document- news/1580226297.htm?pub=autodetect.
Travel Restrictions across the Globe: visit https://www.nytimes.com/article/coronavirus-travel- restrictions.html?action=click&module=Spotlight&pgtype=Homepage

Q : Can visa D holders go to Belgium?
A : It is currently not advised for foreigners to travel to Belgium.

Q : Can visa C holders go to Belgium (Schengen visa)?
A : The borders are closed for 30 days from 17 March. EU nationals and residents are still allowed to enter. There are some exemptions. Please visit the website of the European Council: https://www.consilium.europa.eu/en/press/press-releases/

Q : I have a long-stay visa in Australia. How long can I stay/ due to the corona virus, can I extend my visa?
A : Please consult your VEVO details to see the expiry date of your visa. If you wish to extend your visa you may request a ‘no further stay waiver’: https://immi.homeaffairs.gov.au/form-listing/forms/1447.pdf

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Last updated 22 March 2020

TRAVEL ARRANGEMENTS

  1. Belgians who are abroad and want to return to Belgium are advised to contact their travel agency, tour operator or airline company to arrange a return to Belgium as soon as possible.
  2. There are currently important travel disruptions (flights canceled and closing of airports) It is important to check if all airports on your itinerary are open and if there are any restrictions: quarantine, travel ban, self-isolation.
  3. Transit in Australia: non-nationals will generally not be permitted to transit Australia, unless an exemption is granted on compassionate/compelling grounds.
  4. Transit in Singapore : all short-term visitors are barred from entering or transiting in Singapore from Monday 23/03/2020, 11.59 pm.

Please find herewith the latest travel information (updated 22 March):

Information on travelling to and from Australia:

  • As of 15 March 2020, if you’re arriving in or returning to Australia, you'll be required to self-isolate for 14 days. This applies to all travelers, including Australian citizens. 
  • As of 20 March 2020, the Government of Australia has announced that from 9pm local time on that day, a travel ban has been placed on all non-residents and non-citizens.  Entry to the country will only be permitted to Australian citizens or permanent residents.

For details see : www.homeaffairs.gov.au/news-media/current-alerts/novel-coronavirus Or www.health.gov.au

Emirates has suspended flights to the following destinations :

Athens, Barcelona, Bologna, Brussels, Budapest, Düsseldorf, Edinburgh, Frankfurt, Geneva, Hamburg, Lisbon, London, Lyon, Madrid, Milan, München, Newcastle, Nice, Oslo, Paris, Porto, Prague, Rome, Stockholm, Venice, Vienna, Warsaw.

Etihad has announced suspension of flights between Abu Dhabi and the following destinations :

Barcelona,  Belgrade, Brussels, Geneva, Madrid, Milan, Rome, Zürich.

  • Qatar Airways: Passengers with onward connections through HIA will be accepted for travel and Qatar Airways’ global network will continue its operation for transit passengers as normal, subject to entry restrictions at their final destination.

Foreign passengers of all nationalities travelling to the Kingdom of Thailand are required to present the following documents at the time of check-in. This is also for :

1) a health certificate certifying that the passenger pose no risk of being infected by the Covid-19.  The health certificate must be issued no more than 72 hours prior to the date of travel, and

2) a health insurance policy that shows minimum medical coverage in Thailand of the Covid-19 in the amount not less than 100.000 USD.

  • Transit in Australia: non-nationals will generally not be permitted to transit Australia, unless an exemption is granted on compassionate/compelling grounds.
  • Transit in Singapore : all short-term visitors (including travellers in transit)  are barred from entering or transiting in Singapore from Monday 23/03/2020, 11.59 pm.

 

Information on travelling to and from New Zealand :

  • Information on Fiji: With effect from Friday 20 March 2020, travelers from the People’s Republic of China, Italy, Iran, Spain and South Korea are not allowed entry. The same applies to foreign nationals who have been present in the United States of America and all of Europe, including the United Kingdom, within 14 days of their intended travel to Fiji.
  • Any person entering Fiji from any overseas destination will be required to self-quarantine for 14 days.
  • As many flight connections to and from Fiji connect in Australia and New Zealand, options to depart Fiji are reduced.
  • The UK will provide for the consular coverage of the EU citizens:

- the UK High Commission  in Suva at +679 322 9100 (First option)

- the French Embassy in Suva at +679 331 0526 (Second option)

 

Information on French Polynesia :

  • With effect from Thursday 19 March 2020, the borders are closed.  Only residents will be able to return to Tahiti.   They will be required to self-quarantine for 14 days.

 

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS (FAQ’s):

Q : Can Belgian citizens go back to Belgium ?

A : Yes, Belgian citizens and residents of Belgium are allowed to go back to Belgium.

 

Q : Can I still continue to travel ?

A  : The Belgian government strongly discourages all travel at this point in time. 

 

Q : Do I need to register on https://travellersonline.diplomatie.be/ ?

A  : Yes, this is the only way the Belgian government can contact you if needed.

 

Q : Will there be a repatriation of Belgians, should the borders close ?

A  : Belgium is currently organizing repatriations for Belgian who are stuck in other countries. The problems are worldwide: thousands of Belgians are stuck in tens of countries.  Should a repatriation be conducted for the Pacific region, you will be informed of this in due time. Currently there is no information on a repatriation from the Pacific region.

 

Q : If I go back to Belgium, do I need to go into quarantine ?

A  : No, at this stage, no quarantine has been imposed.  The website of Public Health mentions what to do upon your return in Belgium : www.info-coronavirus.be

 

Q : Is the EU- border closed ?  Will it close and when ?

A : Yes, the borders are closed for 30 days from 17 March. EU nationals and residents are still allowed to enter. There are also exemptions for certain workers, and other people. Please visit the website of the European Council :https://www.consilium.europa.eu/en/press/press-releases/ Several Schengen countries are currently in lockdown.

 

Q : I need to transit to go to Belgium.  Which airports are closed ?

A  :the situation changes constantly.  Find more information via this link from IATA : https://www.iatatravelcentre.com/international-travel-document-news/1580226297.htm?pub=autodetect.

Travel Restrictions across the Globe : visit https://www.nytimes.com/article/coronavirus-travel-restrictions.html?action=click&module=Spotlight&pgtype=Homepage

If you transit in Sydney, you  are required to self-isolate for the period of transit; you will be permitted to travel on the next leg of your journey provided you are returning to your country of residence.

If the transit time does not require an overnight stay, passengers are required to stay at the airport. If an overnight stay is required, passengers can do so under the conditions of self-isolation.

 

Q :  Can visa D holders go to Belgium ?

A  : It is currently not advised for foreigners to travel to Belgium.

 

Q : Can visa C holders go to Belgium (Schengen-visa) ?

A : The borders are closed for 30 days from 17 March. EU nationals and residents are still allowed to enter. There are some exemptions. Please visit the website of the European Council :

 

Q : I have a long-stay visa in Australia.  How long can I stay/ due to the corona virus, can I extend my visa?

A : Please consult your VEVO details to see the expiry date of your visa. If you wish to extend your visa you may request a ‘no further stay waiver’: https://immi.homeaffairs.gov.au/form-listing/forms/1447.pdf