Covid-19 Measures for the Benelux

Belgium (Updated May 24, 2022)

I. Latest news: face mask requirement and travel restrictions lifted as of 23 May 2022

The coronavirus barometer, which has been switched to code yellow since March 2022, has been deactivated. This has been decided by the Consultative Committee. As a result, the requirement to wear a face mask on public transport and to complete the Passenger Locator Form for most trips has been lifted. The Consultative Committee has established that infections and the number of new hospital admissions are following a downward trend. The reproduction rate for infections and hospital admissions remains at less than 1, which suggests the virus is circulating at a much slower pace. In addition, the number of critical care beds has been fluctuating around 100 for quite some time, remaining well below the threshold of 300.

Face mask requirement

Face masks will no longer be mandatory except in hospitals, surgeries (at the doctor’s office) and pharmacies. It will therefore no longer be mandatory to wear a face mask on public transport.

However, wearing a face mask will still be recommended in very busy places or in healthcare environments such as residential care centers or at a dental practice, physiotherapist, psychologist or speech therapist. Proper ventilation of indoor spaces will also continue to be strongly recommended as it is a strong weapon against virus transmission and is generally good for our well-being, health and productivity.

Travel

Non-essential travel from outside the European Union will no longer be banned. Testing on days 1 and 7 and the 10-day quarantine period will no longer be mandatory nor will it be necessary to present:

• a Passenger Locator Form;

• a valid vaccination, recovery or test certificate.

However, this will not apply to people travelling from a country with a new variant of concern; they must continue to respect the current rules

II. Reminder: Belgium in "code yellow"

  • In practice, this means that the Covid Safe Ticket (CST) is no longer required to gain entrance to events, bars and gyms.
  • The face mask remains compulsory from the age of 12 in healthcare institutions, such as hospitals and residential care homes, as well as in public transport. For vulnerable people who are at an increased risk, an FFP2 mask remains recommended, both indoors and outdoors.

There are three colors that reflect the level of pressure on health care in the country:

  • Code yellow: the epidemiological situation and pressure on hospitals are under control,
  • Code orange: increasing pressure on healthcare systems, intervention needed to revers this trend,
  • Code red: high risk of overburdening the healthcare system.

III. Need more information ?

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• General number: 0800 14 689

Netherlands (Updated April 19, 2022)

1. Latest news: Further easing of Coronavirus Measures

In recent weeks, coronavirus infection rates have once again increased. However, the current variant is making people less ill and the number of people being admitted to intensive care is limited. So the government has decided to further ease the current measures. However, certain advice will remain in force.

  • If you have symptoms: stay at home and do a test

Anyone with symptoms should stay home and do a self-test. If the result is positive, make an appointment to get tested by the municipal health service (GGD) and self-isolate for at least 5 days. You can stop self-isolating after 5 days if you have had no symptoms for 24 hours. You do not need to do a test if you have no symptoms. This means, for instance, that pupils, students and those working in education no longer need to do a self-test twice a week as a preventative measure. The advice on quarantining remains unchanged.

  • Working from

The current advice on working from home will no longer apply. Over the past two years, we have seen the positive benefits that working from home can bring. Many people want to continue working from home, at least for some of the time. The government therefore calls on employers to continue making agreements with staff on hybrid working. The government asks that employers pay particular attention to staff who are concerned about their health. They too must be able to work safely. If staff have symptoms, they should stay home and do a test. If they test positive, they should self-isolate and, if possible, work from Caution-home.

  • Face masks

The requirement to wear a face mask on public transport will be lifted as of Wednesday 23 March. In busy places, you can protect yourself and others by continuing to wear a face mask. Face masks must still be worn on aircraft and at airports beyond the security checkpoint.

  • No pre-admission testing (1G) from March 23 onwards

Pre-admission testing (1G) is currently required for larger nightclubs and large events without pre-assigned seating (more than 500 people). From Wednesday 23 March, these locations and events will be accessible without pre-admission testing. This means there will no longer be a requirement to show a coronavirus entry pass at any location. You are, however, advised to keep the Corona Check app on your mobile phone. In several countries, you must still show your QR code in order to enter the country or to visit a restaurant, bar, cinema or theatre, for instance.

2. Living with Coronavirus

Coronavirus has not gone away. People are still getting infected and becoming ill. Fortunately, the vaccines are working effectively and a lot of people have built up some resistance due to having been infected. This means that the impact of a new wave of infections will be less severe than in 2020 and 2021.

However, even for people in good health, a coronavirus infection can still be very unpleasant. And for older people and those in an at-risk group, coronavirus comes with increased risks. Therefore, some advice remains in place in order to help reduce the risk of infection:

  • Wash your hands regularly.
  • Cough and sneeze into your elbow.
  • If you have symptoms, stay home and do a test.
  • Ensure a good flow of fresh air indoors.
  • Get your initial vaccinations and booster jab.

Following this advice will help protect you, your family, friends and others. And you’ll be helping to protect people with health concerns, such as elderly people or people with a chronic illness.

3. Travelling to the Netherlands

As of 23 March, travelers to the Netherlands coming from within the EU or the Schengen area will no longer require a test, proof of recovery or proof of vaccination. The rules will also be lifted for nationals of EU countries travelling to the Netherlands from countries outside the EU and the Schengen area. Everyone travelling to the Netherlands is advised to do a self-test immediately after arrival and again on day 5. Non-EU nationals remain subject to an EU entry ban. Exemptions apply in several cases, however, such as for people travelling from ‘safe’ countries, people who are vaccinated or who have recovered from coronavirus, and people travelling for certain purposes. More information here.

4. Travelling abroad

The advice to travelers remains to prepare well before travelling. Coronavirus has not gone away. And measures still apply abroad. Read the full travel advisory for your country of destination on NederlandWereldwijd.nl (in Dutch) or in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Travel App (Reisapp) before you plan your trip, again right before you leave and during your travels.

5. For further information and guidance, visit:

Germany (Updated April 19, 2022)

1. Latest news

After months of Corona restrictions, further measures have been dropped in Germany. In restaurants and hotels, the 3G rule now applies, according to which even unvaccinated people with a negative test are allowed to eat in restaurants, for example.

Clubs and discos that have been closed for a long time are also allowed to reopen, and the 2G-plus rule applies there. So only recovered people and vaccinated people with a test or with a third vaccination are allowed.

The new relaxations are the second step of the nationwide relaxation plan that the federal and state governments agreed on in mid-February. More guests are now allowed at events. The federal and state governments had determined that more vaccinated or recovered spectators (2G) could be allowed at large events than before - indoors, the maximum number is 6,000 people at a maximum capacity of 60 per cent. Outdoors, 75 per cent of the maximum capacity may be used and a maximum of 25 000 people are allowed.

From 20 March, "all more profound" measures are to be dropped if the situation in the clinics permits.

More information here.

2. Travel

For information about travel, entry and quarantine regulations in Germany, visit the German Federal Foreign Office website here.

Latest News for Travelers

Belgium

1. 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.

The Netherlands

Latest news: As of 23 March, travelers to the Netherlands coming from within the EU or the Schengen area will no longer require a test, proof of recovery or proof of vaccination. The rules will also be lifted for nationals of EU countries travelling to the Netherlands from countries outside the EU and the Schengen area. Everyone travelling to the Netherlands is advised to do a self-test immediately after arrival and again on day 5. Non-EU nationals remain subject to an EU entry ban. Exemptions apply in several cases, however, such as for people travelling from ‘safe’ countries, people who are vaccinated or who have recovered from coronavirus, and people travelling for certain purposes. More information here

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, make sure you know the guidelines for each country you are traveling through. If a PCR test is required, make sure you get tested before you travel. Visit the CDC website for more information on international traveling during COVID-19. 

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

Covid-19 Vaccination

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: