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    Travel policy 2021-2022

    During the next academic year, the current COVID pandemic will continue to have a strong impact on international mobility. Following the recent relaxations of COVID-19 measures, the VUB's travel policy has also undergone some important changes.

    Below you will find an overview of the measures which will enter into force on 1 July 2021This diagram can also help with a more schematic overview of the colour-coding systems and what you need to do when. 

    1. Colour coding

    EEA-REGION (+ Switzerland):

    • GREENStudents can travel. 

    • ORANGEStudents can travel. 

    • RED/GREY: Students can travel. 

    OUTSIDE EEA (including territories situated overseas isolated from the motherland and constitutionally belonging to an EEA country): 

    • ON COUNTRY LIST (green) : Students can travel. 

    • NOT ON COUNTRY LIST (red) : Travel is not allowed. Students need to submit a motivated application to the Vice-Rector Internationalisation. (international.relations@vub.be)

    ​​​​​​​The criteria linked to the colour codes are valid on the day of the planned departure, not at the time of booking. The travel policy can be adapted at any time as a result of the evolution of the pandemic. It is therefore advisable to take out cancellation insurance when booking tickets and accommodation. When a country or region is coloured red during the stay, an early return is not necessary.

    For the application of the colour codes of EEA-destinations, please refer to the website.

    ​​​​​​​​​​​The Federal Foreign Affairs department warns that non-essential travel outside the EEA-region is not advisable. For trips to non-EEA destinations, the country list as shown on the websites https://diplomatie.belgium.be/en & https://www.info-coronavirus.be/en/colour-codes-by-country/ will be taken as a reference point.

    Students are advised to request an exemption by contacting the Vice-Rector Internationalisation (international.relations@vub.be) in case of travelling to a non-EEA country that is not on the country list and if their trip is deemed essential, and this one month prior to departure. Concretely, this concerns student travel which in the event of cancellation or postponement, will lead to a delay in study duration. In this context, one can think of:

    • foreign internships for which no alternative can be found in Belgium/EEA-region

    • necessary research in the framework of a master's thesis for which there is no alternative in Belgium/EEA-region

    • built-in mobility in the framework of double or joint degrees

    ATTENTION: Students who do not comply with a travel ban and/or an order to return to Belgium are not considered legally registered for the course units that are the subject of the relevant outgoing mobility and/or the international internship, and consequently lose any right to participate in the educational and assessment activities abroad. Examination results obtained are considered non-existent (Education and examination regulations Art. 92bis).

    ATTENTION: Every outgoing mobility MUST be registered correctly and in advance. Students do this via SOP Mobility Online.

    ATTENTION: If an application has received a negative decision, this is final.

    2. COVID certificate and vaccinations

    The digital corona certificate will allow free travel within the EU, as well as to Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland (EEA-region). Anyone in possession of a digital corona certificate may travel freely across the EEA-member states. The document in question will be available in all Member States from 1 July and can be obtained from testing centres, health authorities or via an e-health portal. To apply for a certificate, you must either be fully vaccinated, have a negative PCR test less than 72 hours old, or have a recovery certificate.

    If you are coming (back) from a green or orange zone within the EEA-region, you do not have to undergo a PCR test or go into quarantine. Please note that the colour of a zone can change during your stay. If you are returning from a red zone, you do not have to go into quarantine if you have a European corona certificate. If you don't have one, but get tested on arrival on day 1 or 2, you don't have to go into quarantine. This applies to foreign tourists as well as Belgians.

    ATTENTION: Anyone coming (back) to Belgium has to fill in a return travel form (i.e., Passenger Locator Form) 48 hours before arriving in Belgium. This will remain valid after 1 July. The electronic version is here, and you can download the PDF version here.

    For more information we would like to refer to the website of the European Commission.

    3. Excursions and group travel

    Excursions and group travel within the EEA-region + Switzerland are allowed; travelling to countries and areas outside the EEA-region that are not mentioned on the list of countries on the website, however, cannot take place. For these countries and areas a motivated exemption has to be sent to the Vice-Rector Internationalisation by the academic or dean of faculty. (international.relations@vub.be)

    Please check the document (in Dutch only) on safety and health protocols for group travel by bus, coach for international and national travel.