How did Antwerp come to Belgium?

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Current

COVID-19

The spread of COVID-19 continues to lead to restrictions in international air and travel traffic and impairment of public life.

Before unnecessary, tourist trips to Belgium will be due to the high number of infections currently warned.

Epidemiological situation

Belgium is severely affected by COVID-19 in a European comparison. The number of new infections is over 50 cases per 100,000 inhabitants over seven days, which is why Belgium is classified as a risk area.

The European Center for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) and the Belgian health authorities provide current and detailed figures.

entry

Non-essential trips to Belgium and abroad from Belgium are again allowed. However, the Belgian authorities warn against non-essential travel. Entrants to Belgium must generally fill out an electronic “Passenger Locator Form” (PLF) within 48 hours prior to entry and send it electronically. Evidence (electronic or printout) should be carried with you upon entry, as controls are possible. Failure to comply can result in a fine of up to 250 euros.
Entry from non-Schengen countries can be refused if the form is missing or if the information provided is incorrect. Details, including the question of which group of people must fill out the PLF, are explained in the header of the form.

Based on the classification on the Re-open EU website, Germany is a risk area / “red zone” for Belgium. People who travel to Belgium from a “red zone” must carry a negative PCR test with them upon entry. The swab was taken a maximum of 72 hours ago. Children under the age of six are exempt from this.

After evaluating the PLF, travelers generally receive an SMS from the Belgian authorities and must immediately go into quarantine for at least seven days and have them retested on the seventh day of their stay in Belgium. The quarantine ends with a negative test result.

People who arrive by car, bus or train and stay in Belgium for less than 48 hours are exempt from the PCR test and quarantine obligation.

At Brussels Airport, temperature measurements are taken on all passengers with thermal cameras. Access will be denied at temperatures over 38 ° C. Those collecting people are not allowed to enter the airport building. A test center has been set up at the airport.

Transit and onward travel

People who come from a “red zone” (Germany) and travel through Belgium within 48 hours do not need a negative PCR test. However, if airlines or the destination country require a PCR test, a negative PCR test must be presented upon boarding. In addition, the “Passenger Locator Form” (PLF) may have to be filled out.

Travel connections

Cross-border air, train and bus traffic works, but is partially reduced.

Restrictions in the country

Shops are open under strict hygiene conditions without making an appointment. Purchases can be done together with another person in the same household and can take a maximum of 30 minutes.

Each household can only receive one person at home. It always has to be the same person. People who live alone can receive two people, but not together. Private outdoor gatherings are allowed from 5 a.m. to midnight with up to ten people, during the rest of the time a maximum of four people are allowed to meet outdoors.
Hotels and holiday parks are open, meals must be taken in the rooms, unless the hotel restaurant has an outside area. Bars, clubs and discos are closed. Outdoor terraces of restaurants and cafes as well as amusement parks are open. Outdoor events are allowed for a maximum of 50 people.

In Brussels there is a ban on alcohol consumption in public spaces, and a mask is required in all public spaces.

Information on possible future easing is published in German on the website of the Belgian Crisis Center.

Hygiene rules

Distance rules of 1.50 m apply. A mask is required in public transport including stops, train stations and platforms as well as at airports, in shops, shopping centers, sometimes also in shopping streets, places of worship, cultural institutions, in markets and when entering restaurants / cafes . The municipalities independently define zones in public spaces in which a mask is compulsory. The number of customers in stores is limited depending on the size of the store. Failure to comply with the regulations can lead to a fine of up to 250 euros.

  • Note the detailed information on the health situation based on data from the ECDC, existing restrictions including quarantine and testing requirements for travelers and mobile coronavirus contact tracking and warning apps on Re-open EU.
  • Complete a Passenger Locator Form online before entering the country.
  • Please note the obligation to test and quarantine if you are entering from a "red zone".
  • Info-Coronavirus in Belgium provides information on measures and rules of conduct as well as figures on the epidemiological situation in German.
  • Please note that the Belgian COVID-19 regulations can change at very short notice as the number of infections increases.
  • In the event of COVID-19 symptoms or contact with infected people, contact a doctor by phone and first isolate yourself in the apartment / hotel. Depending on the symptoms, the doctor will discuss how to proceed with you.
  • Always follow the advice of local authorities.
  • When you return to Germany, note the valid entry restrictions such as registration, proof and, if necessary, quarantine regulations, inquire about the current conditions of carriage at the relevant company or your tour operator, and if you are entering from a risk area, contact the health department of your residence or travel agency Place of residence. Further information is available in our continuously updated info box on COVID-19 / Coronavirus.

Brexit

After the end of the transition period for the United Kingdom to leave the European Union (“Brexit”) on December 31, 2020, longer waiting times must be expected in Belgian ports for border clearance of goods traffic to the United Kingdom.

More information is available on the Belgian government's Brexit website.

  • If you intend to cross the ferry from Belgium to the United Kingdom, expect longer waiting times at check-in.
  • Inquire about changed customs regulations from January 1, 2021 at the Belgian Customs Administration on + 32-2 575 5555 (Monday to Friday).
  • Note the detailed information on Get Ready for Brexit.

security

terrorism

Terrorist attacks have been committed in Belgium in the past, such as in March 2016 at Zaventem International Airport in Brussels and at the Maelbeek metro station in downtown Brussels. In June 2017 there was an attempted attack on Brussels central train station. The nationwide terror warning level has now been lowered to two (out of four).

There are still random checks at the stations in international train traffic and access controls at the airports. An increased police and military presence can be expected at airports, train stations and government buildings.
Official information is available from the Belgian Center de Crise.

  • Always have a national identification document with you.
  • Allow enough time for security checks.
  • Move around the city with heightened alertness and vigilance.
  • Follow the instructions of the Belgian security forces.
  • Please note the worldwide safety information.

crime

As a major city, Brussels is increasingly affected by pickpockets and petty crime. The south and north train stations with the adjacent district of Molenbeek and along the Scheldt / Willebroek canal are particularly affected, but also lively squares or metro stations and tourist attractions, as well as the European quarter.

  • Keep money, IDs, driver's license, flight tickets and other important documents safe, and it's best to save copies electronically. Only carry copies of IDs with you on excursions and city tours.

  • Prefer cashless payments and only take the cash you need for the day with you; do not carry any unnecessary valuables with you.

  • Be particularly vigilant in large crowds such as at airports, train stations, in the subway, on the bus and watch out for your valuables.

  • Do not leave any openly visible (valuable) objects in the vehicle at rest stops or parking lots and lock the vehicle when leaving. Lock the doors while driving.

  • Be skeptical of unfamiliar e-mails, notifications of prizes, offers and requests for help from alleged acquaintances, do not share any data about yourself, but make sure yourself personally, if necessary, or contact the police.

Nature and climate

The climate is temperate.

Travel info

Infrastructure / traffic

Traffic routes may be impaired due to measures related to COVID-19 containment, see Current.

There is a very good rail network and bus connections. Public transport can be affected by strikes and protests. The Belgian railways SNCB and the Brussels transport company STIB provide up-to-date information.

The road and motorway network is very well developed.
In Brussels, Antwerp and Gent, environmental zones (Low Emission Zones, LEZ) apply, in which the license plates of all vehicles are automatically recorded by cameras.

Free registration for Antwerp, Ghent and Brussels is required for vehicles with German registration. Failure to comply could result in high fines.
Due to different regulations, registration in one LEZ cannot be transferred to another LEZ.

The driving bans for the environmental zones will be gradually expanded until 2025. You can find out which rules apply by clicking on the cities mentioned above and on the website of the Brussels embassy.

The alcohol limit is 0.5.

E-scooters are a popular means of transport for Belgians and tourists, especially in the Europaviertel and tourist areas. When using the offers, you must above all pay attention to your own safety. These scooters can also pose a danger to other road users.

Driver's license

The German driving license is sufficient.

LGBTIQ

There are no indications of any particular difficulties; acceptance is particularly good in large cities.

Criminal law

Binding information on specific criminal law provisions can be requested directly from the Belgian Ministry of Justice. Further information is available from the Maisons de Justice.

Money / credit cards

The means of payment is the euro. Withdrawing cash from ATMs and paying with debit and credit cards are possible everywhere. Cash payments are currently not possible everywhere.

Entry and customs

Entry and transit regulations may currently differ due to measures to contain COVID-19, see Current.

Entry and import regulations for German citizens can change at short notice without the Foreign Office being informed beforehand. You can only obtain legally binding information and / or information that goes beyond this information on the entry and customs regulations for importing goods directly from the representatives of your destination country.
You can find the customs regulations for Germany on the website of the German customs and via the “Customs and Travel” app, or you can inquire about them by telephone.

Travel documents

Entry is possible for German citizens with the following documents:

  • Passport: Yes
  • Temporary passport: Yes
  • Identity card: Yes
  • Provisional identity card: Yes
  • Children's passport: Yes

Comments / minimum remaining validity:
Belgium is a party to the European Convention on the Regulation of the Movement of Persons between the Member States of the Council of Europe of December 13, 1957. Travel documents other than the temporary identity card may not have expired for more than one year.

Minors

There are no known special regulations for the entry of minors.

Import regulations

The import and export of goods is subject to the provisions of the European Union. The principle of no physical checks does not exclude random checks in the context of police surveillance of borders and police control of cross-border traffic.

Caution currently applies when transporting pork: cases of African swine fever have occurred. Only pigs (domestic and wild boars) can get sick with this animal disease, it is harmless to humans. The virus that causes the disease can be present in fresh, frozen, cured, and smoked meat, as well as sausages. The Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture has published further information on African swine fever.

Pets

For trips with certain pets (dogs, cats, ferrets) to countries of the European Union with the exception of Ireland, Great Britain, Malta and Finland, where different regulations apply, an EU pet passport is required. He serves among other things. as proof that the animal has been vaccinated against rabies.
The Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture offers a sample ID as well as further information.

health

Current

The World Health Organization (WHO) has declared the disease COVID-19, which is triggered by the novel coronavirus SARS-CoV-2, a pandemic.

measles

In January 2019, WHO declared delaying or skipping vaccinations as a threat to global health. In particular, the lack of vaccination against measles poses a high risk when the number of cases increases internationally.

  • As part of your travel preparations, check your and your children's vaccination protection against measles and have this supplemented if necessary.

Vaccination protection

No compulsory vaccinations are required to enter Belgium.

Medical supplies

The level of care in Belgium is good.
In Belgium, everyone who is legally insured in Germany is entitled to treatment by doctors, dentists and in hospitals that are approved by the foreign statutory health insurance institution. The European health insurance card (EHIC) or a replacement certificate must be presented as proof. You can obtain both documents from your health insurance company.

In addition to the general disclaimer, please note:

  • All information is intended for the information of medically trained. They are not a substitute for the consultation of a doctor.
  • The recommendations are tailored to direct entry from Germany to a travel destination, especially for longer stays on site. For shorter trips, entries from third countries and trips to other areas of the country, deviations may apply.
  • All information is always dependent on the individual circumstances of the traveler and may require medical advice.
  • Despite the best possible efforts, the medical information is always only an offer of advice. They cannot cover all medical aspects, eliminate all doubts or always be completely up-to-date. You stay responsible for your healthy.

Country information for your travel destination

Here you will find the addresses of the responsible diplomatic missions and information on politics and bilateral relations with Germany.

More

Further information for your trip

The global threat of terrorist attacks and kidnappings remains unchanged.

Since September 2014, the terrorist organizations "Al Qaeda" and "Islamic State" (IS) have been threatening with attacks against various countries and their nationals. There were a number of attacks with firearms, explosives, kidnappings and hostage-taking.

Even if there are currently no specific indications of a threat to German interests abroad, it cannot be ruled out that German nationals or German institutions abroad will also become targets of terrorist acts of violence.

Places with a symbolic character come into question as possible targets.These include well-known sights, government and administrative buildings, transport infrastructure (especially airplanes, trains, ships, buses), economic and tourism centers, hotels, markets, religious meeting places and generally larger gatherings of people.

The level of terrorist threat differs from country to country. There is a particular risk of an attack in countries and regions in which attacks have already been carried out repeatedly or in which they can be carried out relatively easily due to a lack of effective security measures, or in which terrorists have the support of the local population.

More detailed information about the terrorist threat can be found in the country-specific travel and safety information. These are checked regularly and adjusted if necessary.

The risk of falling victim to an attack is still comparatively low compared to other risks that travel abroad entails, such as accidents, illnesses or ordinary crime. Nevertheless, travelers should be aware of the risk.

The Federal Foreign Office strongly recommends that all travelers behave in a safety-conscious and appropriate manner. Before and during a trip, travelers should carefully inform themselves about the conditions in their country of travel, behave appropriately, follow the local media and report suspicious incidents (e.g. unattended baggage in airports or train stations, suspicious behavior by people) to the local police or security authorities .

German citizens are recommended to register in the Foreign Office's "Elefand" crisis prevention list, regardless of their country or the length of their stay abroad:
Crisis preparedness list

Please clarify with your health insurance company whether there is adequate health insurance coverage for your trip abroad, which also covers the costs of a rescue flight to Germany.

Without sufficient insurance cover, the costs necessary on site (e.g. treatment or hospital costs, flight home) are generally to be borne by the person concerned and can quickly use up all of your savings.

It is common in many countries that the costs invoiced by doctors or hospitals have to be settled or even advanced before discharge. It can also not be ruled out that the doctor / hospital will obtain a refusal to leave the country for the patient if the bill is not paid.

Many souvenirs are subject to strict import regulations. Find out in good time!

Before starting your trip, please find out which souvenirs are not allowed to be imported for reasons of species protection. Quite a few tourists experience a nasty surprise on their return, when the memento is confiscated by customs or even punished. No matter how impressive an exotic souvenir is due to its peculiarity and uniqueness - many of the animal and plant species from which such souvenirs are made are endangered or even threatened with extinction. These souvenirs are subject to strict import regulations.

Customs and the Federal Agency for Nature Conservation have introduced the online portal species protection for travelers on vacation. Here you can find out exactly which souvenirs from which countries can be imported into Germany.

Please do not contribute to the illegal and harmful trade in wild animals and plants. Nature conservation organizations as well as environmental and customs authorities advise you not to take any risks and generally to refrain from souvenirs made from animals or plants. Instead, they recommend purchasing local textiles, ceramics, metal and glass work or paintings. Basically, you should exercise caution when buying animal and plant products if you cannot understand their origin. In this way you do not harm the flora and fauna of your holiday destination.
 

Please also note our questions and answers on the subject of "Safety Instructions"

FAQ

Disclaimer of liability

Travel and safety information is based on information from the Federal Foreign Office that is available at the specified time and that is considered to be trustworthy. A guarantee for the correctness and completeness as well as a liability for possibly occurring damages cannot be assumed. Hazardous situations are often confusing and can change rapidly. The decision to undertake a trip is your sole responsibility. References to special legal provisions abroad always concern only a few selected questions. Legal regulations can also change at any time without the Foreign Office being informed. It is therefore recommended that you contact the competent diplomatic or consular representation of the destination country.

The Federal Foreign Office urgently advises you to observe the recommendations contained in the travel and safety information and to take out appropriate insurance cover, e.g. health insurance abroad with repatriation insurance. In this context, it should be noted that you will be charged for any necessary relief measures in accordance with the Consular Act.