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Covid-19 info

We’ve missed you!

Thanks to a rigid prevention strategy in the past few months and a strong vaccination campaign, Belgium now has a ‘summer plan’ allowing much more ‘normal’ activities. 

On this page we inform you about the current situation, and the upcoming measures for the next few months.

At this moment...
  • only test events and conferences are allowed;
  • all types of accommodation are open (including hotels, apart-hotels, B&Bs, holiday parks and residences …) with the exception of their restaurant, drinking establishments and other communal facilities (e.g. shared bathroom, pool and fitness room);
  • terraces of cafés, retaurants are open until 22h;
  • for updates on other types leisure activities we kindly refer you to: https://www.visitflanders.com/en/trade-covid-19/
As of June 9th 2021…*
  • congresses and events (cultural, sports, entertainment …) can take place
    o    indoors: up to 200 people or 75% of the room capacity, seated, with face masks and at a safe distance from each other;
    o    outdoors: up to 400 people, with face masks and at a safe distance from each other;
  • cafés, restaurants will reopen indoors between 8am and 10pm. The maximum number of people per table is 4 or one household per table. A distance of least 1.5 meters must be maintained between tables. Terraces will be able to remain open until 11.30pm;
  • parties and receptions: up to 50 people indoors;
  • fairs and non-professional bric-a-brac and flea markets will also be able to take place again. They must be organised according to the same rules as for markets.
As of July 1st 2021…*
  • congresses and events (cultural, sports, entertainment …) can take place
    o    indoors: up to 2,000 people or 80% of the room capacity (CIRM), seated, with face masks and at a safe distance from each other;
    o    outdoors: up to 2.500 people, with face masks and at a safe distance from each other;
  • parties and receptions: up to 100 people indoors;
  • no more restrictions for shopping.
As of July 30th 2021…*
  • congresses and events (cultural, sports, entertainment …) can take place
    o    indoors: up to 3,000 people or 100% of the room capacity (CIRM), with face mask and at a safe distance from each other;
    o    outdoors: up to 5,000 people.  As of 13 August, outdoor mass events are allowed upon presentation of proof of vaccination or a recent negative PCR test;
  • trade fairs will be allowed, according to the rules for other companies providing goods and services;
  • parties and receptions: up to 250 people indoors.
As of September 1st 2021…*
  • congresses and events (cultural, sports, entertainment …) can take place
    o    Indoors: to be determined.
    o    Outdoors: to be determined.
  • Mass events (in- and outdoors) will be allowed upon presentation of proof of vaccination or a recent negative PCR test.
  • Marriages, funerals and worship services: no restrictions.
  • Parties and receptions: without restrictions indoors. 
  • Markets, fairs, non-professional flea markets: no restrictions.

All detailed information is available on https://www.info-coronavirus.be/en/news/occ1105/

* planned measures will be implemented provided that the number of beds in intensive care occupied by COVID-19 patients continues to trend downwards and that the vaccination campaign continues as planned.

Below you will find useful information and links to assist you in planning your future congress or event in Flanders.

If you have any questions or need further information, don’t hesitate to contact us.

We hope to welcome you soon, with twice the heart, love and hospitality.

Planning your event

Meeting Venues: controlled environments

 The Guidebook Corona-prevention (free download) provides meeting and conference locations in Flanders with information and tips on how to safely organise events, with the health of participants and employees in mind. It helps meeting locations to prepare for a smooth, safe reopening of the location after the COVID-19 pandemic.

Risk analysis: CERM

To assist you in organising your conference/event in the most optimal health safety conditions in Flanders (Belgium), you can use the COVID Event Risk Model (CERM), consisting of the COVID Event Scan and the COVID Event Protocol. These tools are available free of charge for any organiser at www.covideventriskmodel.be

  • The COVID Event Scan maps out safety risks, by means of a simple questionnaire, based on 23 parameters that are known to reduce, or just the opposite, increase the spread of the coronavirus. 
  • The COVID Event Protocol is a guide for all event organisers active in the public, for-profit and non-profit sectors, for all types of events, regardless of the type or size of the event. As an organiser, you can assess whether it is possible to organise an event in accordance with the health safety measures, laid out by the Belgian government.

COVID Infrastructure Risk Model: CIRM 

The capacity of Congress & Event venues is defined by means of the COVID Infrastructure Risk Model (CIRM). The CIRM has been developed for stadiums, sports halls, theatres, concert halls, event halls and conference locations, to allow these venues to screen their venue for the COVID-19 security risks on the basis of a number of security parameters.
The CIRM relies (partly) on the same set of parameters as the COVID Event Risk Model (CERM), but focuses on how the venue lends itself to the COVID-safe organization of events. 

Accommodation protocols

In order to avoid further spread or new flare-ups of the virus as much as possible, the tourism professionals in Flanders have taken all necessary health measures and developed protocols for safe operations. 

Advance reservations are essential. Hygiene regulations are being strictly applied and disinfection gels are available. Social distancing at 1,5 meters and the wearing of face mask is required.
For more detailed information, contact your accommodation directly.

Coming to Flanders

International travel

It is possible to travel to Belgium provided you respect a number of requirements, such as a PCR test before departure, a Passenger Locator Form etc. More info can be found here: https://www.visitflanders.com/en/trade-covid-19/

For travel from countries considered as ‘Red Zone’, quarantine may be mandatory.

Be safe in Flanders

Local mobility 

Face masks or a scarf covering the mouth and nose is mandatory at bus/tram stops, in train stations and on board the vehicles of Belgian Public Transportation, for travellers aged 12 and older.
Here is more information about trams and busses and trains in Belgium. 

Information about the cities and regions 

Our cities and regions implement the measures of the Belgian government rigorously to contain the further spread of the coronavirus and protect risk groups. You can find the latest information about each city and region, as well as contact details of their MICE team here

Congress Delegates communication 

We advise you to keep a close eye on your own state of health and to remain alert to the 6 golden rules recommended by the Belgian government.

  • Follow on-site instructions regarding applicable safety precautions or personnel instructions;
  • Social distancing: always keep a distance of 1,5 meters from others, also in queues;
  • Always carry a mouth mask with you, to cover your mouth and nose where social distancing is difficult to apply;
  • No physical contact: do not shake hands, avoid direct physical contact and avoid touching objects, devices or surfaces with a risk of contamination as much as possible;
  • Hand hygiene: wash your hands regularly with soap and water, especially after touching objects, appliances or surfaces with a risk of contamination;
  • Cough hygiene: if you cough or sneeze, do it safely in a disposable tissue or in your elbow; 

Find here more information on restaurants, guided tours and cultural events.

We’ll take good care of you

Flanders offers some of the highest-quality health care services in the world. The national health care system provides benefits for hospital, medical, pharmaceutical, some allied services and ambulance during your stay.

The Belgian State health care system provides in free emergency care for visiting EU citizens, under the same terms as locals, using the European Health Insurance Card, EHIC (formerly E111).
Non EU citizens need a private health insurance to be able to recuperate possible costs. For tourists it is part of their travel insurance. A private health insurance is also necessary for EU citizens who want to cover non-emergency care plus (like repatriation etc.).

What to do when you get ill?

If you have any of the following symptoms (cough, respiratory problems, fever, aches and pains, fatigue, loss of smell or taste, diarrhoea), please follow these steps:

  • Stay at the accommodation / holiday residence / hotel … (even if your symptoms are mild). 
  • Inform the owner/manager who will call a general practitioner (GP) and report your symptoms. 
  • Don't go to the GP or to a hospital accident & emergency unit on your own initiative. 
  • The GP will tell you by phone what to do. E.g. to go to your GP practice or a triage centre for a test. 
  • Make a list of all the people you came in close contact with. 
  • Did you test positive? A government employee will call you to start the contact tracing. 

https://www.info-coronavirus.be/en/if-you-are-sick/

Testing Procedure

If the GP suspects that you have COVID-19, they will test you or refer you to the local triage centre. The test will be sent to the lab for analysis that same day.

Stay at the accommodation / holiday residence / hotel …  as long as you haven’t received the test results. In the meantime, your GP will ask you to make a list of all the people you came into contact with up to two days before your symptoms began. This list will only be used if your test is positive, as part of the contact follow-up.
You will always receive your test results, regardless of whether the outcome is positive or negative. Did you test positive? Your health condition will be closely monitored, and you will be prescribed the necessary treatment. The contact centre will take the necessary steps to inform the people close to you and your contacts that they may have been exposed to a COVID-19 carrier. 

https://www.info-coronavirus.be/en/testing/

Contact Tracing

In order to avoid COVID-19 once again spreading throughout the population, we are performing contact tracing.

If somebody falls ill due to the virus that causes COVID-19, we ask that sick person for the names of people he has been in contact with. It is, after all, possible that those people are infected with the virus.
We then phone or visit those contacts. We provide advice on what they should do to prevent them from infecting other people in their immediate vicinity. The more infections we can avoid in this way, the better. 

https://www.info-coronavirus.be/en/contact-tracing/#symptoms

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