Covid-19 Measures for the Benelux
Belgium (Updated Oct. 19, 2021)
1. UPDATE Oct. 15: Covid Safe Ticket in Brussels
Since Friday 15 October 2021, the Covid Safe Ticket (CST) must be used for access to certain events or places in the Brussels Capital Region.
What is a Covid Safe Ticket ?
The CST resembles the European Covid certificate. It is intended to protect people's health and keep economic and social life going.
How do I get a Covid Safe Ticket ? There are 3 options:
- A certificate of complete vaccination with a recognized vaccine over 13 days old
- A certificate of a negative PCR test in the last 48 hours or an antigen test (rapid test) in the last 24 hours
- A recovery certificate of up to 180 days old
All certificates can be downloaded with the Covidsafe app here.
For whom is the Covid Safe Ticket mandatory ? The CST should be used by the visitors/customers of the sectors and events concerned.
- From 16 years: for all sectors and events involved
- From 12 years: for mass events and in residential care facilities for vulnerable persons
- People who have an employment relationship with the manager (of the event)
- Consultations in a hospital and any accompanying persons
In which sectors and in which places is the Covid Safe Ticket mandatory ?
- Mass events (from 50 people inside and 200 people outside)
- Institutions in the cultural, festive and recreational sector (from 50 people)
- Cafes and restaurants (for customers of indoor restaurants and cafes, for restaurants and conference or exhibition halls of hotels)
- Sports and fitness clubs (indoor and from 200 people outside)
- Trade fairs and congresses
- Residential care facilities for vulnerable persons
- Dancings and night clubs
- For visitors: a fine of 50 to 500 euros
- For organizers: a fine of 50 to 2,500 euros (+ possible administrative sanctions)
2. Current measures in Belgium (all regions)
A. Face Masks and social distancing
From 1 October, wearing a face mask remains mandatory for anyone older than 12 in the following circumstances: on public transport, in stations and airports; in care settings; for all staff and customers in medical and non-medical contact professions; during events, cultural and other performances, sports competitions, sports training sessions and conferences with more than 500 people indoors.
These obligations constitute a federal basis that applies to the entire country. Regional authorities may foresee stricter obligations if the epidemiological situation so requires.
B. Pubs and nightlife
From 1 October, dancing in pubs will be allowed again. Night clubs and dance halls can also reopen provided that the Covid Safe Ticket is used and adequate air quality and ventilation is provided in line with stricter protocols.
C. Use of the Covid Save Ticket
The Covid Safe Ticket is proof of full vaccination, of a recent negative PCR test or of a recovery certificate. The Consultative Committee considers the Covid Safe Ticket a suitable alternative to restrictive measures or closures in those cities and municipalities where there is a significant deterioration of the epidemiological situation.
The federated entities must provide a regulatory basis by means of a Decree or Ordinance to establish the use of the Covid Safe Ticket. A consultation has been launched on the possible extension of the Covid Safe Ticket to publicly accessible indoor areas with an epidemiological risk.
Organizers of indoor events with 500 or more spectators, and outdoor events with 750 or more spectators, will already be able to use the Covid Safe Ticket from 1 October. In this case, the obligations regarding CIRM/CERM will no longer apply.
Wearing a face mask and social distancing will also no longer be mandatory at these events. Organizers of such events must, however, request permission from the local authority beforehand.
Entry controls have been tightened and made stricter in recent weeks. Meanwhile, the Passenger Locator Forms (PLF) of all travelers returning or arriving are being checked.
The federated entities and local governments have also increased the surveillance on testing, tracing, quarantine and isolation for returning travelers.
See the "latest news for travelers" below for more information about travels.
4. Insufficient vaccination coverage in certain cities and municipalities
Some cities and towns have stricter rules. For example, in cities where not enough people have been vaccinated, such as in Brussels. Check the website of the city or town.
- Flanders: click here.
- Wallonia: click here.
- Brussels Capital Region: click here.
- German-speaking community: click here.
5. Need more information ? Click here and read the latest news.
Netherlands (Updated Oct. 19, 2021)
1. The Netherlands reopens further with Coronavirus entry passes
Enough people have been vaccinated for the coronavirus measures to be relaxed. As of 25 September, people no longer have to stay 1.5 meters from others. You will need a coronavirus entry pass for places that will get busier, such as restaurants and bars, events, music venues, theatres and cinemas. Find all the information here.
2. Current measures
These are the measures currently in place:
In and around the home
- Keep to the basic rules to prevent the spread of coronavirus.
- Work from home if you can, and go to the office if you must.
- Weddings: there is no maximum group size.
- Funerals: there are no restriction.
Locations that are open subject to certain conditions
Almost all locations are open. The basic rules to prevent the spread of coronavirus still apply everywhere. Building managers must take hygiene measures. Some restrictions still apply:
- At certain locations people must show a coronavirus entry pass.
- Opening times are still restricted for all restaurants, bars, cafes and clubs. They must be closed between midnight and 06.00, except for takeaway.
All types of events are permitted. Certain conditions still apply.
- Childcare and education
- Daycare centers for children aged under 4 are open.
- Primary schools are open.
- Out-of-school care is open.
- Secondary schools are open.
- Secondary vocational schools (MBO) are open.
- Higher professional education institutions (HBO) and universities are open.
Everyone can participate in sports activities indoors and outdoors. Sports matches and competitions are permitted. Spectators are allowed under certain conditions.
Travel advice is issued on a country-by-country basis.
If you have holiday plans, make sure you prepare well, because travelling is still a risk. Always check the travel advice for your destination on Wijsopreis.nl (in Dutch only).
3. For further information and guidance, visit the Dutch government’s web page on COVID-19 here
4. Useful documents
Germany (Updated Oct. 19, 2021)
1. Latest news (UPDATE Oct. 12, 2021)
North Rhine-Westphalia (NRW) recently published updates to its Corona protection andtesting ordinances.
- Effective 11 Oct 21, unvaccinated, non-recovered,non-symptomatic individuals and children over 12 years 3 months of age will nolonger enjoy free testing at official local testing sites. Thoseindividuals will have to bear the cost of testing.
- 3Gs continue to be required for most activities, includingevents inside, sports inside, restaurants inside, overnight stays in commercialestablishments (e.g. hotels, guesthouses, etc.), and large open-air events with2500 or more participants. For more information on restrictions, visit https://www.land.nrw/corona.
- Lastly, children in enrolled in German schools will undergomore robust testing starting 27 Oct 21. At that time, testing fornon-immunized students and school personnel will undergo observed POCself-tests at schools 3 times per week and will undergo PCR pool tests twiceper week. No masks will be required during lessens while seated. Masks will be mandatory inside school buildings while not seated.
2. Other measures
- "3G RULE": For certain institutions and recreational facilities, the so called 3G rule is to apply from 23 August at the latest: Only vaccinated (Geimpfte), recovered (Genesene) or negatively tested (Getestete) persons will have access. This is to be the case in clinics, nursing homes, fitness studios, swimming pools, hairdressers, hotels and indoors, for example in restaurants or at events. The test must not be older than 24 hours (antigen test) or 48 hours (PCR). Children up to the age of six and schoolchildren are exempt from the rule, as regular testing is to continue at schools anyway. And the "3G rule" can be suspended if the seven-day incidence in a county is "stable" below 35.
- CORONA INDICATORS: In the Federal-Länder decision, the number of hospital admissions due to Covid-19 is described as an "important parameter for assessing the incidence of infection". In addition, it is emphasised that the Federation and the Länder "take into account all indicators, in particular the incidence, the vaccination rate, and the number of severe courses of disease as well as the resulting burden on the health care system" in order to adjust the Corona measures if necessary.
- CALL FOR VACCINATION: The public is "urged" to take up "existing vaccination offers as soon as possible". Employers are called upon to support their employees in this, for example by offering vaccination through company doctors and giving them time off for vaccination appointments.
- MASKS: Medical protective masks (OP or FFP2) are to continue to be "mandatory" in public transport and when shopping. This is to be reviewed every four weeks. However, Saxony had already lifted the mask requirement for shopping when the incidence was low.
- PARTY AND EVENTS: Restrictions, such as a limited number of participants for clubs and parties, are still possible, hygiene concepts have to be presented. In football stadiums and sporting events with more than 5000 spectators, a maximum of half of the seats in the venue or stadium are to be occupied. The maximum number of spectators is to be 25,000.
- EXTENSION OF CORONA AID: The economic aid (Bridging Aid III Plus) and the facilitation of access for the Short-Time Worker's Allowance, which have so far run until the end of September, are to be extended.
- EPIDEMIC SITUATION: It is determined by the Bundestag and gives the federal government the right to directly issue regulations, for example on tests and vaccinations. Measures such as compulsory masks or contact restrictions, which the Länder can stipulate, also refer to the determination of this situation according to the Infection Protection Act.
Vaccinated and recovered persons still do not have to be quarantined after returning from a high-risk area. A high-risk area is defined as a region with a particularly high number of cases or where there are "indications of a dangerous infection", according to the Federal Ministry of Health.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, restrictions are in place for entry into Germany from many countries. Persons entering Germany from risk areas or by air must complete a digital entry registration, undergo mandatory testing or provide proof of immunity, and comply with quarantine regulations.
Find all the information here
4. United States listed as high-risk country on the German RKI website
This will affect inbound personnel/dependents from the U.S. to Germany in the following ways:
- Travelers from the U.S. must register at www.einreiseanmeldung.de before arriving in Germany and carry proof of registration with them upon entry.
- Travelers from the U.S. aged twelve years or older must hold proof of the following in order to enter Germany: a negative COVID-19 test result (not older than 48 hours prior to entry), proof of a full COVID-19 vaccination, or proof of recovery from an infection. Note: some airlines may require a negative test regardless of vaccination status.
- Travelers from the U.S. must self-isolate (quarantine) at the place of destination for 10 days unless they are fully vaccinated or are fully recovered from an infection and have submitted proof of such vaccination or recovery at www.einreiseanmeldung.de. The quarantine period may be ended on the basis of a negative test carried out no earlier than five days after entry/quarantine AND submission of the negative test result to www.einreiseanmeldung.de.
- For more information on German entry restrictions, visit the German Federal Foreign Office website here.
Latest News for Travelers
1. Update Oct. 18, 2021 - Entry controls have been tightened and made stricter in recent weeks. Meanwhile, the Passenger Locator Forms (PLF) of all travellers returning or arriving are being checked. The federated entities and local governments have also increased the surveillance on testing, tracing, quarantine and isolation for returning travellers. Click here to see the last update about Travel REQUIREMENTS in Belgium.
2. CovidSafeBE - Traveling to and from red zones is possible with the EUROPEAN DIGITAL COVID CERTIFICATE FOR TRAVEL within the EU. If you are a Belgian resident and you return from a red zone (in the EU), you can do so with that certificate without further obligations. The condition is that you have been fully vaccinated for at least two weeks (two shots, except with the single-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine), or that you can present a negative PCR test or a recovery certificate. Those who have not been fully vaccinated for at least two weeks will still have to get a PCR test, starting from children aged 12. Download the official CovidSafeBE app on your mobile device. Select your language and answer 3 questions to find out which COVID certificates are available to you. Then you can use your digital ID to sign in and download and save your certificates. The app is not yet available to DoD personnel who obtained a U.S. vaccine. The reason for that is similar to the Netherlands, namely that the app doesn’t yet register vaccinations provided by the U.S. government. The exception to this is SHAPE personnel who participated in the SHAPE vaccination campaign. Those who received one of the Belgian vaccines can get a Belgian travel certificate. Learn more about travel certificates.
3. Belgium fully red on European Travel Map - Belgium is coloured fully red after Flanders became the last of the country’s regions to change from the less-affected orange code in the latest update from the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC).
New guidance for a number of countries based on risk of Coronavirus infection
As of September 4, 2021, the Dutch Government changed travel guidance for a number of countries based on risk of Coronavirus infection. Two of those countries include: Germany, moved to High Risk and the United States, moved to Very High Risk.
This means that if you travel/return to the Netherlands from Germany:
- You will need to show a COVID certificate: proof of vaccination, recovery, or a negative test result.
- Cross-border commuters and/or short stays (less than 12 hours) remain unchanged. You do not need to provide proof of vaccination, recovery or a negative test result.
If you travel/return to the Netherlands from the United States, you will only be able to enter if fully vaccinated or fall under one of the exemption categories for the EU entry ban.
- Additionally, it is mandatory you provide a negative test result. Proof of vaccination or recovery, will no longer be sufficient.
- There is a requirement to complete an online quarantine declaration form.
- You must quarantine for 10 days upon arrival. If you test on day 5 you may be able to shorten the quarantine period.
- Exemptions from the mandatory quarantine requirement can be found here.
View the full announcement and links to additional information. Please note, the travel guidance for travel/return to the Netherlands from Belgium remain unchanged and is currently classified as High Risk.
2. Learn more information on entry restrictions, testing and quarantine regulation in Germany.
Plan on Traveling Soon?
Please ensure your follow country requirements, as well as unit guidance. View US ARMY EUROPE PROCEDUES FOR UNOFFICIAL TRAVEL DURING COVID-19 for more information.
Before you Travel
If you plan to travel internationally, get tested before you travel by air into the United States (US), or be prepared to show proof of a recent positive viral test and a letter from your healthcare provider or a public health official stating that you were cleared to travel. Read more from the CDC about requirements for international travel.
Need to shop but are on restriction of movement?
The DeCA Shopping Program is established in order to assist community members who hold a US DoD ID card and are unable to shop for themselves due to COVID-19 quarantine/self-isolation.
Covid-19 Guidance and Information
Higher Headquarter Guidance
Restriction of Movement
- 10 day quarantine, negative results from day 7 Covid-19 test releases individual from quarantine (red zone)
- All persons returning and travelling through and who are staying at least 48 hours must fill out an identification form (Passenger Locator Form)
- Non-essential travel abroad outside of the EU is currently prohibited for people whose main residence is in Belgium. Non-essential travel to Belgium from outside the EU is prohibited for persons whose main residence is abroad
- Travel age 6 and up must have negative test no earlier than 72 hours prior to travel. A sworn statement must also be carried with passenger to prevent being denied access at border inspection.
- Exemption from quarantine does not authorize exemption from Covid-19.
- 10 day quarantine with negative results on or after day 5 release with some exceptions
- Covid-19 test requirements (if 13yo or over) and travelling from most all countries with some exceptions
- Negative NAAT (PCR) test result based on a sample collected no more than 24 hours before boarding.
- Negative NAAT (PCR) test result based on a sample collected no more than 72 hours before arrival in the Netherlands AND a negative rapid test result based on a sample collected no more than 24 hours before boarding.
- A negative COVID-19 test result is not mandatory if you are travelling by car or travelers on bus/train within 30km
- Complete and carry a health declaration.
- 14 day Quarantine (risk area, high incidence area or area of variant concern)
- Exemptions-passed through risk area and/or Germany; or <24 hours
- fully vax; recovery from infection –0
- high incidence, neg test –arrival +5
- no exceptions nor reductions for areas of variant concern
- Pre-testing, 6 yrs or older (48 hours)
- Area of variant concern (all)
- High incidence, neg test or proof of fully vax or proof of recovery
- Risk area, same as high incidence (air), proof NLT 48 hours after entry (land or sea)
- Digital entry registration from risk area, high incidence area or virus variant area.
Covid-19 Fact Sheets and Tips
- Covid-19 Home, Work, and Community Wellness and Prevention Standard Operating Procedures
- Face Covering Dos and Dont's
- Read here about the travel restrictions for DoD Components
- Covid-19 evolving situation and information
- 10 tips for At-Home Quarantine or self-Monitoring
- Covid-19 Testing
- 470th Military Treatment Facility: Covid-19 Handout
- Army Traffic Safety Training Program (ATSTP) and Motorcycle Safety Foundation Cards Impacted by the COVID-19 Pandemic
- CID Warns of Increase in Covid-19 Related Fraud, Scams
- Army Traffic Safety Training Program (ATSTP) and Motorcycle Safety Foundation Cards Impacted by the Covid-19 Pandemic
USAG Benelux Covid-19 Policy Letters
Information about Civilian Personnel
- Civilian Personnel Guidance: Questions and Answers related to the Novel Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) Outbreak
- Novel Coronavirus Q&A for HN employees in Belgium
- Read here the guidance and FAQ on work flexibilities for HN/US personnel
- Claims under the Federal Employees' Compensation Act due to COVID-19
The best way to prevent illness is to reduce or eliminate exposure to viral biological agents. Tips to protect against infection include:
- Practice good personal hygiene, especially regular hand washing, which is one of the best ways to prevent transmitting infection. Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use alcohol-based sanitizer.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
- Keep immunizations up-to-date.
- Ensure any environment that might harbor bio-hazards (for example, fans or ventilations systems) is regularly maintained, cleaned, and sterilized.
- Clean and disinfect work surfaces often.
- Clean up spills immediately.
- Handle and dispose all bio-hazardous waste materials safely. Always handle blood and any other bodily fluids as if it can be infectious. If injury or bleeding occur, handle every person in a manner that minimizes exposure to blood and body fluids.
- Cover your mouth and nose with a disposable tissue when sneezing or coughing and dispose of the used tissue immediately in the garbage with a lid and wash your hands.
- Stay at home if you are sick.
Should I wear a facemask?
Secretary of Defense Mark T. Esper strongly encourages military personnel, DoD civilians, their family members, and DoD contractors to follow CDC guidelines on the use of cloth face coverings in public settings, or where other physical distancing measures are difficult to maintain. Accordingly, the USAG Benelux Garrison commander is putting measures in place to regulate the wear of face coverings through the garrison footprint. Effective April 10, to reduce the risk for the entire community, the wear of face coverings will be mandatory on all AAFES, DeCA and Post Office facilities through the USAG Benelux area of responsibility. We are doing great as a community at protecting ourselves; this will help even more.
U.S. Army Europe and Africa released frequently asked questions concerning COVID-19 vaccination and their answers, and you can read them here.
For further resources concerning vaccination, visit these other sites:
What to do in Case of Covid-19 suspicion
Q1. What should I do if I think I have coronavirus?
A1. If you have fever and signs/symptoms of respiratory illness (e.g. cough or shortness of breath) AND meet ONE of the following criteria:
- Travel to an affected region (China, Iran, Japan, South Korea, or Italy) in the last 14 days
- Close contact with a laboratory-confirmed case of COVID-19 in the last 14 days
Please stay home and contact a healthcare professional for additional medical advice! Contact your healthcare provider via telephone and mention your travel history and your symptoms. Please do not go to your healthcare provider’s waiting room or to the local Hospital Emergency Department unless directed by your healthcare provider or the Nurse Advice Line.
Q2. What will happen if your healthcare provider refers you to the local hospital emergency room for COVID-19 testing?
A2. Several actions will take place
- Your healthcare provider, or patient liaison, or NAL will reach out to the designated hospital and inform them that they have instructed you to present for testing (you have already been screened). This allows the hospital time to receive you with proper protective measures and isolation rooms.
- Your healthcare provider will inform SHAPE Public Health Department that you will be submitted for testing. This measure is valid for the entire USAG Benelux personnel, for all locations.
- If you go to the Hospital Emergency Department without being screened by your healthcare provider, the Hospital will determine the need to screen you. If you do not meet the screening criteria, you may be released from the hospital without being tested for COVID-19. If you call the local Hospital without being screened by your healthcare provider, they will screen you over the phone and determine your need to be tested for COVID-19.
- If you are tested by a local hospital for COVID-19, contact the SHAPE Public Health, your healthcare provider, or patient liaison. You should inform them you are being tested and are waiting results. All are medical personnel can receive your confidential health information. If you are tested for COVID-19, you will likely be requested to remain at home in self isolation precautions.
- All USAG Benelux personnel and family members need to inform SHAPE Public Health if you are tested or on isolation for COVID-19.
- The severity of your symptoms will determine the need for you to be admitted to the hospital. The current Belgian Hospital treating those that need hospital care is St. Pierre in Brussels.
- If necessary, your healthcare team will coordinate with local health authorities to transport you to a hospital equipped to support patients with COVID-19 infection.
- If you are referred to remain in isolation, your healthcare team will monitor you frequently to assess your symptoms, need for further hospital care, and guidance on release from isolation.
Q3. What is the treatment for the coronavirus?
A3. There is no specific antiviral treatment for the coronavirus. People who think they may have been exposed to the virus should contact their healthcare provider immediately.
Q4. What are the important numbers?
SHAPE Public Health/Preventive Medicine: (+32) 65325336
SHAPE Clinic appointment line: (+32) 065445886 Brussels Clinic appointment line: (+32) 026861515
Geilenkirchen Clinic appointment line: (+49) 02451-99-3200
Ambroise Pare: (+32) 065414444
UZ Leuven: (+32) 016343900
Nurse advice line (NAL) for TRICARE beneficiaries:
- Bahrain: 800-06432
- Belgium: 0800-81933
- Germany: 0800-071-3516
- Greece: 00-800-4414-1013
- Italy: 800-979721
- Spain: 900-82-2740
- Turkey: 00-800-44-882-5287
- UK: 0800-028-3263
For SHAPE Healthcare Facility beneficiaries, call Mondays through Thursdays from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.; for Brussels Clinics beneficiaries, call your clinic Mondays through Fridays 8 a.m. to noon and 1 to 4 p.m.). All others, contact your medical provider. After hours, TRICARE beneficiaries contact the Nurse Advice Line (NAL) which can be found on the TRICARE website (https://www.tricare.mil/ContactUs/CallUs/NAL.). After hours, for non-TRICARE beneficiaries contact your insurance advice line.
If you are experiencing a medical emergency in Europe, dial civilian 112.
Q1. What makes homeschooling successful ?
• Start slow. Start with one subject or lesson at a time, then add another the next day.
• End on a positive note. If you have success with a couple of lessons, then end there. Ending when everyone is happy or
had success builds confidence for the next day.
• If there is frustration, anger or tears, then take a break. It is ok to stop and come back after an hour or two or the next day. It’s best to say, “Ok, let’s go outside for a bit and come back at 1 p.m. and try again.”
• Have patience and show grace to your child. Do not blame yourself or your child.
• Each child learns differently so it is OK if they each approach an assignment differently.
• Khan Academy is a great website to use for resources of all ages.
Q2. Who should I talk to if I have questions about my children’s health?
A2. Parents with questions should contact a school nurse or healthcare provider. If you have concerns about the safety of your child’s school, contact your principal or School Liaison Officer.
Q3. Where can I find information about Coronavirus impact on DoDEA schools?
A3. Monitor the following website for DoDEA information : https://www.dodea.edu/Coronavirus.cfm
Q4. How does the CYS staff prevent the spread of the disease?
- Staff sanitize mouthed toys, food surface areas, and activity tables after each use. Toys used by children three (3) years and older are cleaned and sanitized weekly.
- CYS staff disinfect diaper-changing tables after each use.
- Individual cots and mats are disinfected at a minimum of weekly. Mats/cots and bedding (sheets and blankets) are cleaned and sanitized weekly or immediately when soiled, or after use by child when a cot/mat is shared.
- Cribs sheets are laundered daily, after soiling, and after use by child when a crib is shared. Each child’s bedding is stored separately from other children’s bedding.
- CYS has implemented additional measures to prevent the spread of disease by employing a weekly regime of disinfecting all facilities and equipment.
Note: click on the links for information about Advanced Placement exams: AP Letter -Key Information for AP Students with Nighttime Test Schedules - SHAPE AP Exams
Q1: What precautions is Army taking?
A: The Army is taking a proactive approach to curtailing the coronavirus update, including certain closures for on base installations and limiting congregation for employees and their families. These precautionary measures are location specific and employees are encouraged to monitor email activity and check the Army website specific to their post for any announcements.
Q2: What do employees do if their command has closed their facility?
A: Employees should contact their supervisors as they may be required to telework or report to an alternate duty location. Telework eligible employees will be required to telework during closures in accordance with their telework agreement. If no work is available the employee may be granted Administrative Leave until the facility reopens
Q3: What is the status of an employee who is unable to report to workplace due to being isolated or quarantined?
A: Under the direction of competent health authorities in Belgium, Host Nation employees, who are healthy and are not displaying any symptoms, but who may have been exposed to COVID-19, can be put into quarantine. This means that they will be medically isolated and their movements and contacts to others will be restricted. Employees who are subject to quarantine measures and who have already signed a telework agreement may continue to perform their duties from the place of their medical isolation, provided the required technical and data protection conditions are fulfilled. Those employees who have not signed any telework agreement will be placed on administrative leave until their attending physician confirms that there is no risk for contamination.
For US employees, employees may be excused from work without charge to leave or loss of pay when put under isolation or quarantine by a health authority. This excused period will last for the duration of the seclusion. Where an employee is telework eligible and not ill they are required to telework during their isolation barring exigent circumstances.
Q4: What can employees do if a family member contracts COVID-19?
A5: A host nation employee can take up to 10 days of unpaid leave for emergency reasons or annual leave. If at a later stage, the Belgian social security system officially recognizes COVID-19 as eligible disease for preventive leave, then such leave can be granted.
For U.S. employee, in addition to regular annual, sick, and advanced sick leave; employees may also invoke their right to unpaid Family Medical Leave to a maximum of 12 work weeks. An employee may substitute accrued annual and/or sick leave for unpaid leave under this provision
Q5: Can a manager mandate that an employee be sent home/tested if they show symptoms of infection?
A: Employees are encouraged to exercise caution and report to their physician as soon as they suspect they may be infected. Managers may send employees home and ask them to contact their family doctor. If the employees refuse to see their family doctor, management will request an appointment with the labor physician, who will determine further steps to be taken.
Q6: What else can managers and employees do to prevent the spread of COVID-19?
A: Managers and employees are encouraged to practice “social distancing” by limiting the amount of direct contacts with each other and the public at large. Canceling or postponing social gatherings, conducting meetings electronically instead of in person, planning for liberal work leave policies, and encouraging good personal hygiene can all help to limit the amount of physical contact and the spread of COVID-19.
Q7. Is there any limitation to the USAG Benelux installations ?
To that end and pursuant to the 21st TSC Commander's General Order #1, we implemented some changes to limit our travel to only what is absolutely necessary.
As of 27 March 2020, DES began implementing limited access to the USAG Benelux installations from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. This didn't impact your ability to access the Commissary and other essential services. During this timeframe, DES will be enforcing those measures on post for people conducting "unnecessary travel" or curfew violations. Please also note that the USAG Benelux will continue to screen people
entering post, and has a system in place to ensure that those not deemed medically fit for entry are precluded from entering. We are in this fight together, and together we will win.
Q8. Is physical presence reduced at Geilenkirchen AB ?
Yes. The National Support Unit at Geilenkirchen AB is refining operations to meet the Secretary of Defense Health Protection Condition Levels intent. Physical presence on base will be reduced to the max extent possible with a handful of exceptions but we are still open for business through distance means. At this time, only the 470th ABS Military Treatment Facility, Post Office and Command section will be manned. All other sections can be reached via the POC info located under the NSU Operations and Services link on our main COVID-19 ops webpage also at https://www.spangdahlem.af.mil/Units/470th-Air-Base-Squadron/.
Isolation: the separation of people known to be infectedwith COVID-19 (confirmed case)
Quarantine: the separation of people possibly exposed butnot yet showing symptoms.
Person Under Investigation : a person in quarantine whodevelops symptoms, which will lead to him/her being tested for COVID-19.
COVID-19 lab testing positive: a person who was quarantinedand who became a confirmed case and moved to isolation.