Coronavirus measures

What is the coronavirus?

The coronavirus is a disease which is very similar to the flu. Possible symptoms are breathing problems, coughing and loss of smell or taste. Most people recover from the virus. For older people and people with lung, heart or kidney problems, the virus can be dangerous.

The coronavirus is transmitted between people. When an infected person coughs or exhales, the virus is spread through small droplets from the nose or mouth. An infected person can pass on the virus through hand contact. The virus can also be spread through contaminated material.

Measures in Belgium

Since 29 July, Belgium has tightened the measures to control the spread of the coronavirus. The following new measures apply at least until the end of August:

  • You and your family may have direct contact with maximum 5 persons outside your immediate family (never more than 10 persons in total!). Children under 12 years do not count.
  • You must do your shopping with maximum 2 people.
  • The use of smoking waterpipes (shisha) is prohibited.
  • Wearing a mask is compulsory in more places (cafes and restaurants, markets, some city centres…).
  • You must give your contact details if you go to a restaurant, a cafe or sports club.

If you do not respect the different rules, you can be fined!

The arrival centre in Brussels is only open by appointment

Due to the coronavirus, the Immigration Office has temporarily adapted the registration of asylum applications. You must first make an appointment online. Complete the online form (in Dutch or French) on the website of the Immigration Office: 

The Immigration Office will then send you a confirmation e-mail with an appointment (date and time) to register your asylum application at the arrival centre in Brussels.

In the reception centres

As from 29 July (and at least until the end of August), you must respect new measures in the reception centres:

  • You cannot spend the night outside the reception centre.
  • Wearing a mask is mandatory everywhere in the centre, except in your own room. You must always take a mask with you when you leave the reception centre.
  • You may only leave the centre with your immediate family or with a maximum of five persons at the same time and provided that you wear a mask. Outside the centre too, you must stay with that same group of people.

If you get ill at the reception centre

  • Call the doctor, the medical service, your social worker or ask someone to inform the medical service
  • It is not permitted to visit the medical service or the reception yourself
  • Wait in your room until the doctor or nurse comes to see you

If the doctor or nurse thinks you are infected with the coronavirus, then you must remain in the isolation zone of the reception centre until you have recovered (minimum 7 days).

Together with a employee of the government or the reception centre you will start contact tracing and draw up a list of people with whom you have recently been in contact with.