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Update Regarding the COVID-19 VIRUS

Date: 
11 May 2020

 

PLEASE FIND A LIST WITH ANSWERS TO FAQ'S CONCERNING COVID-19 BY CLICKING THE FOLLOWING LINK.

 

The Belgian government has decided to extend the current restrictions for all non-essential travel into Belgium until and including June 15th, 2020.

The Belgian consular missions will not accept any visa applications until this date, neither for C-type or D-type visas, with very few exceptions (family emergencies or those who are employed in the healthcare sector). Unfortunately we are unable to confirm that the consular missions will resume regular visa processing after this date, as the restrictions could be extended. If you have further  questions, please contact the consular mission with jurisdiction over your state for more information. 

We continue monitoring the evolving COVID-19 situation and we remain committed to protecting our staff and visitors by adhering to recommended safety protocols.

In alignment with the universally acknowledged “social distancing” guidance to help blunt the COVID-19 pandemic, we have reduced office staff at the Embassy of Belgium in Washington D.C. and Consulate Generals to a minimum and have cancelled all meetings and public events until further notice.

Please note: The Embassy of Belgium in Washington DC has moved to a new address. As of April 14, we are now located at: 1430 K Street NW, Washington DC 20005.  All emails and phone numbers remain unchanged.

 

Consular Services

Until further notice, the Embassy and Consulate Generals have restricted their opening hours and can only offer assistance in emergencies and urgent matters for Belgian residents in the United States.

Please consult the respective Address and opening hours pages for the updated opening hours by location as well as the online appointment links.

As stated above, the Embassy of Belgium in Washington DC will restrict its opening hours and will handle urgent matters only.  Online appointments are mandatory.  The new opening hours are Tuesdays and Thursdays from 10:00am until 12:00pm. 

For emergencies, please contact us by email washington@diplobel.fed.be or by phone: (202) 333-6900.  Also be sure to check our Facebook page regularly.

Guidelines for Emergency Consular Visits

To protect your and other visitors’ health, the Embassy and Consulate Generals in the United States are strictly allowing visits by appointment only. Visitors who have an appointment should confirm that:

  1. They do not have flu-like symptoms.
  2. They have not travelled to risk countries/regions in the last 3 weeks.
  3. To their knowledge, they have not had any contact with anyone suspected of having, or confirmed to have, the COVID-19 virus. 

If you cannot confirm all of the above statements, please refrain from visiting the Embassy or Consulate Generals in the United States.

We thank you for your understanding and cooperation.

 

Follow Local Guidelines 

With the current stay at home measures in place in DC since 25/03, and renewed on 15/4, we remind you to avoid any non-essential journeys outside your home.

While our Embassies, Consulate Generals and the call center in Brussels are ready to assist Belgian nationals, it is also important that Belgian residents in the U.S. take their own responsibility.  As the situation is rapidly evolving, we recommend following the guidelines of: 

 

Travel

As part of the coronavirus crisis, the Belgian government has decided to PROHIBIT all non-essential travel abroad, up to and including June 15. The National Security Council will assess this ban in due course. Due to the COVID-19, the United States prohibits access to its territory to all foreigners who have stayed during the 14 days preceding their trip to the United States:

  • in one of the 26 Schengen countries, including Belgium
  • in the United Kingdom and Ireland (ban in place since Tuesday 17/03 at 5 AM GMT + 1 (Monday 16/03 at 23:59 PM EST)
  • in China and Iran

All travel abroad is formally discouraged and all tourists/travelers are advised to return to Belgium as quickly as possible. 

Belgian travelers wishing to return to Belgium:

  • Please check first the availability of the usual commercial routes and contact your tour operator, travel agent or airline.
  • For travel information to and from the US, please click here (NL) or here (FR).
  • For flights chartered by a country other than Belgium within the framework of the European Union civil protection mechanism, note that the number of places available for Belgian citizens is the exclusive jurisdiction of the State which chartered the flight. If there are not enough spaces to bring back all concerned Belgians, priority is given to the most vulnerable compatriots (health, serious conditions) or those who travel with very young children.

For Belgians who are temporarily stranded abroad, we are by your side and will do our best to find a solution. The following is a list of additional resources that has been put forth by the Belgian Ministry of Foreign Affairs:

  • All tourists abroad should register themselves at the Travellers-Online website and provide an update when back in Belgium;
  • In case of emergencies, the Ministry is providing assistance 24/7 via phone + 32 (0)2 501 4000, via their Facebook page, or through direct message on Twitter;
  • All over the world, Belgian expatriates share their advice and temporary solutions on Facebook group pages: FR pageNL pageDE page.

It is also important that our citizens take responsibility and follow the instructions of the competent local authorities closely (see above). In these highly exceptional circumstances, even the resources of the Belgian Embassies are limited.

Back in Belgium

Upon their return to Belgium, Belgian nationals, people with their main residence in Belgium and long-term residents are asked to comply with two conditions:

  • The person must remain in isolation at home for 14 days; AND
  • The person is prohibited from working outside for 14 days (even if s/he works in an essential sector); teleworking is still allowed.

 

Please check back often as this page is regularly updated.