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    Updated travel policy: 6 January 2021

    Updated travel policy: 6 January 2021

    Update 6 January 2021: please check the FAQ on the back to campus-website regarding the updates about:

    ► Commuting to Belgium for exams.
    ► Updated rules (25/12/2020) on quarantine for travellers arriving in Belgium.
    ► What the quarantine implies.

    >>> check the FAQ-Questions about mobility <<<

    Updated travel policy: 1 December 2020

    This travel policy applies to all mobility until the end of the 2020-2021 academic year, or until further notice. VUB wishes to adopt a preventive travel policy in order to guarantee the health and well-being of its students, and to assume its social responsibility.The situation in many countries across the world is highly unstable, with Covid-19 infections rising rapidly.

    The situation in a country can sometimes evolve very quickly from 'favourable' to 'serious'. As a result, the pressure on hospitals is high and the capacity of hospitals abroad can be limited in emergency conditions, making priority access for treatment or to intensive care difficult. Repatriation is also not always obvious or guaranteed.

    The VUB therefore wants to act responsibly and avoid possible extra pressure on hospitals (abroad) as much as possible. Finally, a high degree of infection in a country/area can lead to a (local) lockdown. As a result, students risk being isolated abroad where the necessary emotional/psychological support is not always available. For these reasons, the VUB gives absolute priority to the health of its students by means of this preventive travel policy and we hope we can count on everyone’s understanding.

    Travelling in EEA

    The VUB travel policy is based on the colour coding system for travel advice used by the department of Foreign Affairs. The Belgian government regularly updates its travel policy. Consult their website to check the colour code of the country and region of your destination. You should also check which measures are in place to enter a particular country and which ones are in place with regard to, for example, quarantine and safety.

    Green zones

    There is no problem and there are no restrictions to travel; the exchange is allowed.

    Orange zones

    => Orange type A

    The Belgian authorities are warning and asking for vigilance because, from a Belgian point of view, the level of infection in this region is high. There may be restrictive measures. 

    => Orange type B

    The government of your host country of destination imposes measures for entry from Belgium as this may pose a risk. Restrictive measures are in place.

    In both types, the exchange is allowed but students must inform themselves about possible restrictions and measures, and follow these. Group travel, fieldwork and excursions are not allowed.

    Red zones

    => Red type A

    VUB does not allow travelling to these regions because the infection rate is too high and there are too many local restrictions. Group travel, fieldwork and excursions are not allowed.

    => Red type B

    The government of your host country prohibits entry from Belgium. The exchange will only be permitted if the host country makes an exception for entry for study purposes. Group travel, fieldwork and excursions are not allowed.

    Please note, if a country or region is on the Belgian government's red list, students are under no circumstances allowed to travel to these areas within the framework of VUB activities.

    General:

    If an international mobility is started when the colour of a country is green or orange, and the colour changes to red during the stay, the stay does not need to be stopped.

    As the situation can change daily, it is important that students travelling abroad consult the website of Foreign Affairs BEFORE purchasing travel tickets and booking accommodation.

    It is recommended to take out cancellation insurance for bookings. It is also recommended to take out travel insurance.

    If the stay abroad is supported by a scholarship and the preparations (bookings, reservations) were made when the host country was in code red and the stay is then cancelled, the motivation of 'force majeure' cannot be invoked for reimbursement of expenses already incurred.

    Consular assistance is not ensured in case of departure by Belgians to a destination which has a negative travel advice from Foreign Affairs. International students should request information from the government or embassy of their country.

    Consequences for students if they do travel to a country with code red:

    Failure to comply with a VUB travel ban and/or the order to return to Belgium by the VUB results in the student in question not being legally registered for the programme components relating to the outgoing mobility and/or internship abroad, and consequently the student loses any right to participate in educational and evaluation activities abroad. As a result, the exam results obtained are considered as non-existent. More information can be found in the “OER” (the Education and Exam Regulations document).

    Exceptions for travelling in the EEA:

    No exceptions are allowed for students.

    Travelling outside EEA

    The VUB does not allow travel outside the EEA.

    Exceptions for travel outside the EEA:

    Exceptions for study (attending classes) will not be allowed.

    In order to carry out internships, fieldwork or thesis work, students may apply for a motivated exception, supported by the academic responsible for the programme component in which the activity is embedded. Exceptions will only be permitted if no alternative is possible and if the absence of the foreign stay leads to an extension of the duration of the study. The evaluation will also take into account the situation in the host country with regard to coronavirus infections and health facilities. The student and the academic can jointly apply for a motivated exception via international.relations@vub.be. The decision is taken by the Vice-rector Internationalisation.

    Registration of mobility

    Outgoing mobility: Students must register their mobility before departure in SOP Mobility Online. To receive a login, they need to send an e-mail to exchange.outgoing@vub.be

    Registration of all outgoing mobility on https://travellersonline.diplomatie.be is recommended.

    Incoming students or returning students from abroad

    Students who come to the VUB from EEA and non-EEA countries should follow the instructions on the website of Foreign Affairs strictly, as well as those of their home/host country before travelling to Belgium. Once here, they must strictly follow the guidelines regarding quarantine and testing. In the event of an inspection, new international students must be able to present their contract or letter of acceptance from the VUB as proof. Incoming or returning students must follow the guidelines for registration as stipulated by the Belgian department of Foreign Affairs (the passenger locator form).

    For the latest updates on the federal government's travel policy and the colour coding, check the website of Foreign Affairs.