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Precautions

Wash your hands, keep distance and wear a face mask in places where it is mandatory and in busy public places: VUB closely follows the measures of the Belgian government. In addition, the university uses its own concrete guidelines. These can be found below.

Klik hier voor de informatie in het Nederlands

Adjust your behaviour

Everyone is responsible for ensuring that the virus is spread as little as possible, i.e. slowed down. Even if you're not sick yourself, you can spread the virus. The Vrije Universiteit Brussel therefore asks all students, academics and staff to adjust their behaviour accordingly and to observe the following prevention and hygiene rules:

  • Avoid body contact: keep a 1,5 m distance from each other. Do not greet each other with a kiss or a handshake.
  • Wash your hands regularly and thoroughly.
  • Cough in a paper tissue (and throw it away in a closed bin afterwards), or in your elbow.
  • Use paper tissues to blow your nose.
  • Avoid touching your face with your hands as much as possible.
  • Air the rooms frequently.
  • Follow all signage and instructions.
  • Always keep to the right.
  • Only a limited amount of people in elevators.
  • Give feedback to each other and report unsafe situations.
  • Being on time is a safety measure. Everything takes more time than usual.
  • Be careful during commuting.
  • Stay home when you're ill.

Face mask rules

The following mouth mask rules apply to everyone, regardless of whether or not you have been vaccinated. 

  • Outside, you must wear a mouth mask when it is busy, when there are many of you and when you cannot keep enough distance. For example: before the start of a lesson or during an event that does not work with a Corona Safe Ticket. If it is not busy, wearing a mouth mask is not compulsory. 
  • Inside, a mouth mask is compulsory in the following situations
    • You are moving around, regardless of the distance covered 
    • You are a student in a classroom, auditorium or practical lab 
    • You are a researcher and you are in a laboratory (unless you are sitting down and the mutual distance between you and another person is more than 1.5 m). 
    • When the distance between you and another person in the room is less than 1.5m or the room is not well ventilated. 
  • When is a mouth mask indoors not mandatory? 
    • You are alone in a room 
    • You are together with other people in the same room (meeting room, library, study room...) and the distance between you is more than 1.5m and the room is well ventilated. 
    • You are seated in the student restaurant. 
    • You are seated at your individual workstation and the distance between you and another person is more than 1.5m. 
    • You are eating or drinking 
    • You are a teacher and stand at more than 2,5m distance from the first row of students 
Put it on correctly
Put it off correctly

Wash your hands regularly

  • Limit the number of people in washrooms according to the number of sinks. If this prevents people from maintaining 1.5m distance, limit numbers further. Wait your turn outside.
  • Flush the toilet with the lid closed.
  • Wash your hands before and after using the toilet.
  • Do not use electric hand dryers. Use only paper to dry your hands.
  • If paper or soap is running out, alert infradesk@vub.be right away.
  • There is an intensive cleaning of public spaces. Services keep their workspace clean.

Guidelines in the workspace

  • The workplace includes the following areas: offices, meeting rooms, flex rooms, laboratories and other areas where employees are employed. 
  • Teleworking is still recommended. What does this mean? 
    • If you can work from home without this affecting the quality of your work, then work from home. By doing so, you show your solidarity to other VUB staff members.  
    • If your job or research requires you to come to campus, you are more than welcome. Think of employees of the faculty secretariats; study guidance, restaurant staff, laboratory staff ... 
    • Are you a high-risk patient? Have a dialogue with your manager about your extended homework.  
    • It is the responsibility of managers to translate these rules into the operation of the service and the needs of the university. 
  • We are moving away from the '7m² per person' guideline. In doing so, we want to accommodate our researchers who work in laboratories and can now resume their work at 100%. It also does not affect the teleworking guideline as described above. 
  • Now that the 7m² rule is being scrapped, we ask you all the more to use your common sense and to continue to scrupulously adhere to the basic rules: 
    • Keep 1.5m distance
    • Wear a mouth mask
    • Disinfect and wash your hands
    • Ventilate the area
  • Registration is no longer mandatory, unless the manager decides to do so because of the risk involved in having several people in the same room.

Are you sick?

  • Don't hesitate: stay at home and consult your doctor immediately.
  • Did you have contact with a Corona patient? Don't hesitate: inform the VUB immediately via coronavirus@vub.be, stay at home and consult your doctor.
  • Have you been diagnosed with the Coronavirus? Don't hesitate. Stay home and notify the VUB immediately via coronavirus@vub.be. VUB wishes you all the best!

VUB thanks everyone who adheres to the precautions and responds quickly. We sympathise with all Corona patients and hope for a quick recovery for everyone.

Covid Safe Ticket

Since Friday 15 October, you need a Covid Safe Ticket to access certain events or locations in Brussels. That includes on the VUB campuses. Where and when do you need a ticket and how do you get it? You’ll find the answer to your questions below.

 

The Covid Safe Ticket (CST) is a document, available either on paper or digitally, containing a QR code. The CST works in the same way as the European corona certificate that you need to travel. You must present it to take part in certain activities and to access certain areas. These are decided by the government and in some cases by the university.

The CST is free, but if you are not fully vaccinated or recently recovered from a Covid infection, you can only obtain the ticket after taking a PCR test or a rapid test. These tests may have to be paid for.

The CST is personal, so we will check that your identity matches the name stated on the ticket.

The organiser that scans the ticket will only be able to see your name and date of birth, and whether the ticket meets the entry requirements. They are not able to see whether you have obtained the ticket based on a test, vaccination or recent recovery.

Anyone over the age of 12 can request a CST.

You can obtain a CST in one of the following situations:

  • You have been fully vaccinated for more than two weeks. Your vaccine must have been registered in Belgium or the EU.
  • You have been infected with coronavirus in the previous six months.
    • You have since recovered.
    • The infection was confirmed by a Belgian doctor, hospital or test centre via a positive PCR test.
    • A confirmed infection in another country is not valid, as it was not registered in Belgium.
    • You have taken a PCR test that shows a negative result.
      • Validity: 72 hours after test – day of the test plus two days.
      • You have had a rapid antigen test done by medically trained personnel, with a negative result.
        • Validity: 48 hours after test – day of the test plus one day
        • A self-test is not valid.

The CST itself is free, but there may be charges for a PCR test or rapid antigen test.

You can request your CST digitally. For this you need your Belgian ID card, pin code and card reader, or another digital key such as itsme.

In this case, you can obtain your CST via

If you don’t have a Belgian ID card or active digital key, click on “How can I obtain my Covid Safe Ticket without Belgian ID?”.

Did this not work? Click on “Help, I can’t obtain my Covid Safe Ticket!”

  1. You are not a resident of Belgium, but you are an EU resident, or you already have a European Digital Corona Certificate.

The Covid Safe Ticket uses the same QR code as the European Digital Corona Certificate. If you already have this certificate or can request one in your home country, you don’t need to present an additional Belgian document. You can find more information here.

  1. You are a resident of a non-EU country and don’t yet have a number on the Belgian national register.

Do you have a regular general doctor who manages your global medical file? If so, contact them and they will give you access to the online medical system helena.care. You can download the certificate there.

You don't have a regular doctor?

Then you can get the Covid Safe Ticket by post. Please take into account a waiting period of 1 week between order and receipt.

Contact the Helpdesk of the region where you were vaccinated.

  • Brussels: 02 214 19 19
  • Flanders: 078 78 50
  • German-speaking Community: 0800 23 032
  • French-speaking Community (Wallonia): 071 31 34 93

Have you been vaccinated in Brussels and do you urgently need your certificate or do you have a problem with all the other options?

  • Call the helpdesk to ask where you can go: 02 214 19 19
  • Or go straight to the information kiosk at the Pacheco vaccination centre

o Avenue Pacheco 42, 1000 Brussels
o Open from 9h30 - 17h on weekdays

Did this not work? Click on “Help, I can’t obtain my Covid Safe Ticket!”

Were you vaccinated in Belgium?

You can also receive the CST by post. You must take into account a waiting time of one week between ordering and receiving the ticket.

To do this, contact the Helpdesk of the region where you were vaccinated.

  • Brussels: 02 214 19 19
  • Flanders: 078 78 78 50
  • German-Speaking Community: 0800 23 032
  • French Community (Wallonia): 071 31 34 93

Were you vaccinated in Brussels and urgently need your certificate or are you having problems with all the other options?

  • Call the helpdesk for further guidance: 02 214 19 19
  • Or go directly to the information kiosk at the Pacheco vaccination centre
    • Pachecolaan 42, 1000 Brussels

Open from 9.30-17.00 Monday-Friday

Belgium recognises the following vaccines:

  • Pfizer/BioNTech (Comirnaty) – 2 doses
  • Moderna – 2 doses
  • AstraZeneca/Oxford (Vaxzevria) – 2 doses
  • Johnson – 1 dose
  • Covishield – 2 doses

Were you fully vaccinated outside the EU with a vaccine recognised in Belgium, and you would like it registered in Belgium?

Contact your GP and give them the following details:

-             Full name, address, date and place of birth, nationality

-             Phone number and email address

-             Your BIS number if you know it

-             Proof of vaccination with lot number (photo or scan)

Do you not have a GP? Contact the group practice that VUB works with via ugpcorona@gmail.com. Do not visit the site in person; if necessary they will schedule an appointment for you.

Then your doctor can give you the certificate, if you have a global medical file with the doctor.
Otherwise you can get the Covid Safe Ticket by post. Take into account a waiting period of 1 week between order and receipt.

Contact the Helpdesk of the region where your doctor has registered the vaccine.

  • Brussels: 02 214 19 19
  • Flanders: 078 78 50
  • German-speaking Community: 0800 23 032
  • French Community (Wallonia): 071 31 34 93

Is your vaccine registered in Brussels, and do you urgently need your certificate or do you have a problem with all the other options?

  • Then go to the information kiosk at the Pacheco vaccination centre

o Avenue Pacheco 42, 1000 Brussels
o Open from 9h30 - 17h on weekdays

At VUB, you need a CST for:

-          The VUB restaurants

  • for consumption on site or takeaway

-          All other catering businesses

  • except on terraces

-          All activities of student organisations

  • except if they take place outdoors and involve fewer than 50 people

-          Indoor sports activities

  • except school sports/educational activities
  • except children (under 16)

-             Outdoor sports activities with more than 200 people

-             Cultural activities, e.g. in Pilar

-             All indoor events with more than 50 people

This list is not exhaustive and is still being added to.

Please note: without a Covid Safe Ticket in the indoor eating spaces, you must keep a distance of 1.5m between occupied seats at all times. Wear your face mask as soon as you stand up. University employees may eat at their own workplace, while keeping sufficient distance.

On Campus Etterbeek

Indoors:

-          STOA is open from 8.00-20.00 on weekdays

Outdoors:

-          Terrace of the VUB restaurant via rear door

-          Terraces of other catering sites on campus, provided you are eating

-          Outdoor seating areas. A number of tents are available for shelter if necessary.

Takeaway is possible from Bocadillo, Opinio and ’t Complex. A food truck will also be available on certain days next to building B.

On Campus Jette

Indoors:

-          The Link, on the ground floor of the EhB building

If there are no activities planned, you can use the Atrium/Forum or room A047. Check the room schedule.

Takeaway from the JAVA Coffee Corner next to the library in building A – closed between 11.30 and 14.00 but open in the morning and afternoon. A vending machine with fresh sandwiches and salads will also be available in building A from November.

Verification is done by scanning the QR code of your Covid Safe Ticket or European Digital Corona Certificate and checking your identity.

For this you must present an identity document:

  • Identity card, driving licence or passport
  • Staff card or student card

Always have your proof of identity and Covid Safe Ticket ready when requested, on paper or on your phone, to help the scanning process go smoothly. We try to avoid queues but ask for your understanding if there are delays.

When scanning your Covid Safe Ticket the scanner only sees your name, date of birth and QR code. No personal health information is shared with us.

Are you unable to present a Covid Safe Ticket or a European QR code where this is required? Then unfortunately we cannot give you access to the room or activity that requires the CST. To prevent fraud, proof of identity is always required.

In Brussels, you can go to one of the test centres. You will find all the information at brussels.testcovid.be.

Some pharmacies or GPs also offer rapid tests.

Please note, there may be a charge for getting a test to obtain a CST. Bear in mind too the validity period of a test: 72 hours from the point of testing for a PCR test and 48 hours for a rapid test.

Make sure that you have access to one of the digital platforms below in order to quickly obtain your QR code; otherwise we cannot scan it. For this you need your identity card, card reader and pin code, or other digital key such as itsme.

If you have the test taken by your GP, you can also request access to the helena.care platform to obtain the QR code.

Get your vaccine on campus and regain your freedom!

Are you an international student or staff member and not yet (fully) vaccinated? Have you not yet been vaccinated with an EU-recognised vaccine? We’ve made it easy for you! Drop by our campuses in Etterbeek or Jette and get vaccinated with the free Johnson & Johnson vaccine. One shot is enough to boost your immunity against the coronavirus, allowing you to travel freely within the EU and get access to events in Belgium and on campus.

Scroll down to find out our vaccination points, opening hours and FAQs on vaccination.
 

Safety first

From 16 September, we will be opening vaccination points on our campuses and encouraging all our (prospective) students, academics, staff and campus visitors to get vaccinated. You too, as an international student or employee, are welcome at our vaccination points.

The more VUBers are vaccinated, the safer it is to study, work and spend time on our campuses. A high vaccination rate on our campus and in Brussels also increases the chance that we can continue teaching under code green this academic year. You will also receive a corona certificate, which allows you to travel within the EU and attend events, including those on our campuses. In other words, it is the only way to normality. 
 

More freedom

A few days after your shot, you can obtain your corona certificate. With this certificate, you can then obtain a European certificate, which allows you to travel freely within the EU without having to take a PCR test. The certificate can also be used as an additional entry ticket for large/indoor events where you are not required to wear a face mask or keep a distance of 1.5 metres.
 

No need to make an appointment

This is how it works

1.    Have you been in Belgium for some time and thus have a national registry number but have not yet been vaccinated? Come to the vaccination point on one of our campuses. Bring your passport or other proof of identity.

2.    Are you a new international student/employee? On arrival in Belgium, you must fulfil the obligations for entering Belgium: you must fill in the Passenger Locator Form, have a coronavirus test done and possibly go into quarantine. If your coronavirus test is negative and your quarantaine is finished, you can get vaccinated. Come to a vaccination point on one of our campuses. 

3.    There is no need to make an appointment. Just check the opening hours. 
4.    Get vaccinated with the Johnson & Johnson vaccine. 
5.    Install the Covid Safe app and request your European corona certificate. You can obtain the certificate 4 to 5 days after the vaccination, when the registration is fully in order. If you don't have a Belgian national number yet, you can obtain the corona certificate by calling 02 214 19 19, the vaccination call centre of the Brussels Capital Region, or by visiting the information kiosk at the vaccination centre Pacheco.
6.    Use your corona certificate as a Corona Safe Ticket to get access to VUB events taking place indoors. 

Vaccination points & opening hours

In Etterbeek the vaccination point is housed in the temporary containers in front of the rectorate building and next to Building B. You can come here on various days between 16 September and 8 October:
 
•    Thursday 16 September: 15.00-18.00 
•    Friday 17 September: 11.00-14.00
•    Wednesday 22 September: 11.00-14.00 and 15.00-18.00
•    Thursday 23 September: 11.00-14.00 and 15.00-18.00
•    Wednesday 29 September: 11.00-14.00 and 15.00-18.00
•    Thursday 30 September: 11.00-14.00 and 15.00-18.00
•    Friday 1 October: 11.00-14.00 and 15.00-18.00
•    Thursday 7 October: 11.00-18.00 non-stop (during the Kick-Off)
•    Friday 8 October: 11.00-14.00 and 15.00-18.00

Jette - behind the Agora building
•    Monday 27 September during the Kick-off: 11.00-18.00 non-stop
•    Tuesday 5 October: 10.00-17.00

Frequently asked question about vaccination on campus

Read this before you come to one of our vaccination points:

If you have already received another vaccine longer than a month ago, you can be vaccinated again with the Jonhson & Johnson vaccine. 

Yes, you do not need to be vaccinated to study at VUB. You do not need a Corona Safe Ticket either. For other indoor activities on our campuses, you might need a Corona Safe Ticket.

No, you do not need a Corona Safe Ticket to take lessons at VUB. For other indoor and outdoor activities on our campuses, you might need a Corona Safe Ticket.

If you already have a BIS number, for example after a doctor’s visit or via any other administrative service, please bring it. If you have a BIS number you cannot download the corona certificate via the app, this is only possible with a national registry number. However, you can get your certificate by calling 02 214 19 19 (vaccination call center) or by going to the Pacheco Vaccination Center in the city.

Yes, we will make a BIS-number at our vaccination point. With this number, we will register you in the vaccination database.

In principle, you need a Belgian national registry number to be able to be vaccinated. It usually takes several weeks before you, as an international student or employee, receive this national number. A BIS number is the solution.

When you come to our vaccination point and provide us with your identity details, we will create a BIS number for you if necessary. If you already have a bis number, please bring it. We can use this to register your vaccination.

If you have been fully vaccinated with an EMA-approved vaccine (including CoviShield or another vaccine recognised by Belgium) you can have your vaccination details entered into the Belgian VaccinNet database under the supervision of the student doctor, based on your social security number (INSZ), which will create an EU Digital Vaccination Certificate. Your post-arrival quarantine will end after this data is entered, once you have been fully vaccinated for 14 days and if you have not tested positive.

If you have not been (fully) vaccinated or have been vaccinated with a vaccine that is not approved by the EMA, come to the vaccination point on one of our campuses and get vaccinated. Your details will be stored in the Belgian database VaccinNet. This will give you an EU Digital Vaccination Certificate. 

You can download the EU Digital Vaccination Certificate through the CovidSafeBE app and on websites like www.mijngezondheid.be, My Citizen Profile or MyHealthViewer, after authentication through one of the means available in the Federal Authentication Service (FAS). This can be an electric foreigner’s card, an eIDAS-recognised authentication means from your country (currently this applies to the Czech Republic, Germany, Estonia, Spain, Croatia, Italy, Luxembourg, Latvia, Portugal and Slovakia), an Itsme account granted after a one-time authentication at a bank, a digital key created after a one-time authentication at a local registration office or a Helena key after a one-time registration at a GP. If you have any trouble accessing the app or website, the Brussels vaccination call center will help you out via 02 214 19 19, or go to the info kiosk in the Pacheco vaccination center in the city.

FAQ

Klik hier voor alle info in het Nederlands.

Below you'll find answers to more specific frequently asked questions (FAQ). Is your question not listed here? Feel free to send an e-mail to coronavirus@vub.be

Impact of government measures on the corona policy of the VUB

The Belgian government is constantly monitoring the corona situation and, depending on the state of affairs, is adopting new measures to control the coronavirus. The VUB closely follows the government's guidelines and adapts its corona policy as much as possible, taking into account its specific nature and always with a view to preserving the health and safety of both students and staff. In the section immediately below you will find the latest VUB measures, adapted to the most recent government guidelines.

Important: The most recent updates on VUB decisions always appear on our websites for staff and students as well.

Questions on education

Below you will find the frequently asked questions about education and studying. You will find much more information on our site for students or, if you are a staff member, on our site for staff

Students check their class schedule and Canvas for information about educational activities. Here, teachers play a crucial role for concrete instructions. 

Also, for master's theses, all research activities will continue online whenever possible. However, under certain conditions, master's students may have access to the research infrastructure for the duration of the experiments. 

You can visit both the VUB and external study places, but don't forget to make a reservation. See all the information on the student website

Consult all information on the student website.

Questions concerning access to buildings and infrastructure

Know what to do and where to go when you need to be at the VUB campuses.

The following guidelines apply to those who need to be on campus: 

  • You wear a mouth mask everywhere and at all times, including outdoors. You only take it off when sitting alone at your desk, exercising alone, or when eating.
  • Always keep a distance of 1.5 meters from other people present.
  • Respect the maximum number of people in each room:
    • Sitting environments such as offices and meeting rooms: 1 attendee per 7 m2.
    • Environments where people walk around or eat, such as laboratories or lunch areas: 1 attendee per 10 m2
    • Outside: stand with maximum 10 persons with mouth masks and 1.5 meters from each other. Do not smoke if you wish to do so, you must remove your mouth mask.
  • Follow the signs as indicated.
  • Always keep to the right.
  • When using the elevators, stick to the maximum number of people indicated.
  • You are alone in your office or workspace.
  • You share a space with colleagues, you sit at your desk, there is sufficient ventilation and:
    • There is at least 7m² of space per person present and more than 1.5 meters distance between the different users of the room.
    • Or: there is a minimum of 7m² of space per person present and a Plexiglas wall placed between the occupied workstations.
  • During a meeting when there is a minimum of 7m² of space per person present and more than 1.5 meters distance between them and the space is well ventilated.
  • When eating. Always maintain a minimum distance of 1.5 meters from other attendees. As soon as you have finished eating, put your mouth mask back on, even if you are still sitting down!
  • You exercise alone.
  • When specific protocols allow it, for example during organized sports activities of the sports service.
  • When you smoke, you refrain from smoking a cigarette. You cannot smoke a cigarette together!

As soon as you stand up and move around in a room with several people present, and in all other situations than those mentioned above, you put on your mouth mask.

Have you exceptionally forgotten your mouth mask? You can obtain a spare copy at the following locations, during their respective opening hours:

Ixelles:

  • Security - building X4, at entrance 6
  • Student Information - building D
  • Sports Department - building L
  • Faculty Secretariats

Jette:

  • Security - building A -1
  • Faculty Secretariat GF - building A

You can purchase additional mouth masks through the VUB web shop.

If you want to order mouth masks for your department or your employees, you can do so via a PKC number through the web store or through racsweb (surgical masks and disinfectants).

Questions about student dorms and living in dorms

The latest guidelines and measures for students can be found on our website for students. Be sure to check it out if you are a kot student or if you're planning to move to a dorm.

Eating and drinking on campus

You can eat in safe conditions in the VUB restaurants in Jette and Etterbeek. In Ixelles you can still visit the restaurant in the evening for hot meals from 5.30 p.m. to 8 p.m. until the end of June. During the summer holidays the evening opening will take a break. The terraces of the other catering partners on the campus are also open. If you have to come to the campus because of your activities or lessons, you can enjoy a terrace with a colleague or fellow student. A maximum of four people are allowed at a table. Please always keep a sufficient distance from your colleagues or fellow students.

Questions about personal well-being

Read the answers to frequently asked questions about personal well-being in the list below.

First of all: it is a normal reaction to experience feelings of anxiety, stress, insecurity and even panic when hearing and reading all the news, speculations and measures concerning the corona virus at the moment. Here are some tips to keep it in context and not to worry unnecessarily:

  1. Listen to experts: make sure you have correct facts and look at things from the right perspective. Don't search too much for information about the coronavirus on the internet yourself. Pay special attention to information from credible sources and experts. For example, there is a government website that offers useful and correct information. Also feel free to share this information with your friends and family. Of course, you will also find useful information on this very website.
  2. Stay connected. Maintaining social networks can promote a sense of normality. You can share and discuss feelings and concerns with each other, relieving your stress. Be careful because fear is also contagious. If you talk to a lot to people who are scared, you will become scared yourself. So look for people who are calmer. It will have a more positive effect on you.
  3. Seek additional help. If you are overwhelmed by fear or other long-lasting reactions that influence you negatively, it is best to seek help. You can contact the VUB for professional help by a student psychologist from VUB Student Counselling or an employee of CAW. International students can contact https://www.chsbelgium.org/en/ for a professional chat. VUB staff can contact BRUCC via brucc@vub.be (tel.: 32 (0) 476 600 130).

Feeling confused and anxious about the coronavirus situation? As a student, you can contact the student psychologists at the VUB with your concerns. You can schedule an appointment with a student psychologist via the student website. When making your appointment, you can use the online scheduling tool to indicate your preferred contact method.

The same working method applies to appointments with a Learning Path Counsellor or Study Advisor. If you are in guidance, you can contact your counsellor via email or online tool.

What about events?

A script is required for each event. Please refer to the guidelines and template for a script.

Questions about mobility

During the next academic year, the current COVID pandemic will continue to have a strong impact on international mobility, both for students and staff. 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 2021.

1. Colour coding

EEA-REGION:
  • GREENStudents and staff can travel. 
  • ORANGEStudents and staff can travel. 
  • RED/GREY: Students and staff can travel. 
OUTSIDE EEA (including territories situated overseas isolated from the motherland and constitutionally belonging to an EEA country): 
  • ON COUNTRY LIST: Students and staff can travel. 
  • NOT ON COUNTRY LIST: Travel is not allowed. Staff and students need to submit a motivated application to the Vice-Rector Internationalisation. 
​​​​​​​
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 Belgian Federal Public Service Foreign Affairs 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 website https://reopen.EER-regio.eu/en will be taken as a reference point.
 
Students and staff are advised to request an exemption by contacting the Vice-Rector Internationalisation 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; staff members, including ATP, via TEO.
 
ATTENTION: If an application (for students or staff) 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 are allowed; travelling to countries and areas outside the EEA-region that are not mentioned on the list of countries on the website reopen.europe.eu, 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.
 
Please check the document (in Dutch only) on safety and health protocols for group travel by bus, coach for international and national travel.
 

4. From which 'high risk' countries are you not allowed to travel into Belgium?

The Belgian government has issued a list of territories and countries which have been classified as very high risk. As a result, inbound travel into Belgium is banned from these countries. This also includes incoming student or staff mobility. Please check the list regularly for any changes.

Staff or students who feel they are exempt should submit a motivated application to the Vice-Rector Internationalisation (international.relations@vub.be) for all travel from Belgium to outside the EEA-region. 

As a result, VUB very strongly advises against travelling to these countries from Belgium as well (for both students and staff). 

ATTENTION: Students who are finishing their exams at VUB and want to return home and their home country is on this list should note that they might not be allowed back into Belgium for the start of the academic year. 

Safe travels!

Questions about insurance

Read the answers to the frequently asked questions about insurance in the list below.

In case of early return of students from abroad: which costs will be reimbursed (rent, etc.) by the insurance?

Students should consult their personal insurance broker.

Does VUB intervene in the cancellation of travel & accommodation costs of staff members due to the coronavirus?

The VUB BCS travel assistance insurer does not intervene in case of cancellation due to the outbreak of the coronavirus.

Actions that can be taken:

  • Please contact the travel agency. They may propose to cancel the trip for a limited cost or to rebook the tickets.
  • If necessary, contact the agency that cancelled the activity (for which travel & accommodation expenses were incurred) and check whether and to what extent they reimburse the expenses incurred.

My trip abroad within the framework of an externally financed project will not take place. To which interventions am I entitled?

In this case, be sure to contact the body financing the project or consult their website to see what intervention or solutions they might propose. The VUB BCS travel assistance insurer does not intervene in case of cancellation due to the coronavirus outbreak.

Actions that can be taken:

  • If necessary, the travel agency can be contacted. They may propose to cancel the trip for a limited cost or to rebook the tickets.
  • If necessary, contact the agency that cancelled the activity (for which travel & accommodation expenses were incurred) and check whether and to what extent they will reimburse the expenses incurred.

No.  If you, as organizer, took out an event/cancellation insurance yourself, we advise you to contact the insurer. However, there is little chance that the insurance will provide cover in the event of a pandemic.

In case of cancellation of an event you organized, please contact the registered participants, suppliers and other contracting parties.

When events are cancelled, this means that the registration fees have to be refunded to the participants (unless the event is rescheduled and the participant agrees to let the organizer keep the registration fees). However, damages, such as hotel expenses, transport, etc., cannot be claimed back by the participants, since the government has explicitly forbidden events since March 13th and therefore there is a case of force majeure. However, we recommend that you always check the contracts themselves, as situations of force majeure can be contractually extended/limited/...

Financial arrangements will also have to be made with suppliers, which may result in costs having to be paid. Suppliers must be able to provide proof of the costs they have already incurred (incurred before the force majeure situation, 13 March 2020). Only these costs will have to be paid by the organizer. Again, no damages can be claimed as a result of the dissolution of the agreement as there is force majeure at stake (again, read contract for any force majeure clauses).

However, we recommend postponing events (to a date to be determined at a later date) rather than cancelling them.

Vanbreda Risk & Benefits has taken a number of preparatory measures in order to continue to guarantee its services. They recommend using their digital channels: the Vanbreda Health Care app or their Health Care website www.vanbreda-health.be/nl/ for the handling of claims (such as reporting hospitalisation and serious illness, filing medical expenses and other questions). Accessibility by telephone may be limited due to exceptional circumstances and mail distribution could be compromised.

Questions are best asked via the website

If you have not yet signed up for their digital services, you can find all the information you need to register at www.vanbreda-health.be/nl/ik-word-digitaal/. Download their app by scanning the appropriate QR-code:

Questions about the coronavirus

On the Sciensano site you will find most of the answers to your questions about the coronavirus. Below you will find actions of the VUB regarding the virus.

Right at the start of the crisis, we made sure that the welfare of laboratory animals did not suffer as a result of this epidemic. Animal welfare legislation could be complied with without interruption. Currently, the crisis has not stopped any research projects, but it has slowed them down. Also, compared to normal times, no more animals have been euthanised specifically due to this crisis. There is no abnormal trend in the evolution of the number of cages and experimental animals due to the crisis. The Animalarium is in full readiness to restart ongoing preclinical research and also to support new research on therapeutic avenues to help fight the global pandemic.

Yes, both within the UZ Brussel and within the preclinical research laboratories, research is being done into this pandemic. An overview of the research can be found here: https://vub.be/coronavirus/onderzoek. In the course of this year, projects will also be started in which, with the help of laboratory animals, possible treatments against the virus will be sought.

Questions about possible contamination

Read the answers to the frequently asked questions about possible contamination in the list below.

A person who may be infected with the coronavirus is asked to stay at home and consult a general practitioner. We recommend avoiding social contacts.

In order to facilitate contact tracing in case of effective infection, the VUB can draw up a list of the days and times when the infected person was present and possibly had close contact: during certain lessons, when using campus facilities, participating in activities or at his workplace (if an employee is involved).

In addition, the general precautionary measures and guidelines of the Federal Public Health Department must be followed.

You inform the VUB by sending an email to coronavirus@vub.be. Your email will be followed up immediately.

If you are an employee of the VUB, you must report your sick days in TEO.

You notify the VUB immediately via coronavirus@vub.be if:

  • You are a student or employee of the VUB and you have been diagnosed with the coronavirus.
  • You are a student and you are staying at a VUB student room, and you go into quarantine (after high-risk contact or return from red zone abroad), or if you show symptoms of the coronavirus.
  • you are an employee of the VUB and may be infected with the coronavirus, for example after close contact with an infected person or in case of an infected family member.
  • you are not a student or staff member, but did come into contact with a corona patient and shortly afterwards paid a visit to the campuses of the VUB and an infection was diagnosed in you shortly afterwards.

If you are a student, your mail will be forwarded to Student Information. If you are an employee, P&O will handle your mail. If necessary, the first-line centre dispatches your mail to other services involved (e.g. infrastructure).

The VUB will treat all personal data you provide in your mail confidentially.

If you are a student, Infopoint will handle your report. If you are an employee, M&O will handle your mail. If necessary, other services involved can be contacted (Student Housing if you are in a VUB student room, the service you work for, ...).

In case of notification of contamination, the VUB follows the guidelines of the Federal Public Health Service, which state the steps to be followed in case of (possible) contamination.

In order to facilitate contact tracing in the event of effective infection, the VUB can draw up a list of the days and times on which the infected person was present and possibly had close contact: during certain lessons, when using campus facilities, participating in activities or at his workplace (if it concerns an employee).

Anyone who has been infected may not re-enter the campus until a doctor has declared him/her healthy.

Your colleague or fellow student will go into isolation as required by government guidelines.  Avoid contact with him or her. 

Avoid contact with your colleague. Be vigilant for the symptoms of the coronavirus (fever, cough, respiratory problems, sore throat, headaches, loss of smell or taste, and muscle aches). If you do not feel well, let the VUB know in time via coronavirus@vub.be and call your doctor.

Furthermore, all 'regular' precautions for the virus are of importance. You can read these here.

If you are at home or in a room in Brussels, do not have a regular GP and suspect that you are infected with the coronavirus, we advise you to contact telemedi.be for a digital consultation. If necessary, they will refer you for a test or take one in their own practice.

This is free of charge for those who are members of a mutual health organisation, but the service is not accessible to persons without a Belgian national number. 

If you are at home or in your kot in Brussels, you have no regular doctor and suspect you may be infected with coronavirus, call 1710. Via this number you will reach a helpline staffed by GPs, who will advise you and refer you if necessary.

The fixed VUB cooperation partners - the group practices UGP in Auderghem and Patio in Jette - are not testing centres. They provide advice, write certificates and can provide test prescriptions for the Brussels test centres. In special cases, they administer the tests themselves. The general practitioners do this in addition to their regular care.

For more information and the availability of the group practices, please see UGP Auderghem or Patio Jette.

If you do have a regular GP, you should of course call him or her. 

You notify the VUB by sending an email. We will follow up on your e-mail immediately.

  • As a student you mail to info@vub.be. If you miss compulsory classes during your quarantine, you must submit your medical certificate to the faculty secretariat.
  • As an employee of the VUB, send an e-mail to coronavirus@vub.be. You also report your illness in TEO.

Do not come to work, to classes or to activities, and adhere to the guidelines of the family doctor and the government regarding home isolation.
The VUB will treat any personal details you provide in the e-mail as confidential. 

Low-risk contact:

For the following kind of contacts, the risk of infection is considered "low":

  • You had more than 15 minutes of contact with a COVID-19 patient at a distance of less than 1.5 m, but you were both wearing mouth masks correctly (nose and mouth covered).
  • You had less than 15 minutes of contact with a COVID-19 patient at a distance of less than 1.5 m.
  • You had been in the same room/closed environment with a COVID-19 patient for more than 15 minutes, but respected the distance of 1.5 m. This includes, among others, people working in the same room, or sitting together in a waiting room.

You do not have to go into quarantine, but follow these guidelines:

  • You limit physical contacts as much as possible. Work at home if possible.
  • You keep at least 1.5 metres away from others for 14 days.
  • Wash your hands very often and thoroughly.
  • Wear a mouth mask when you leave your home.
  • Call your GP and stay at home if you develop symptoms.

This is the information the contact researcher will give you if you are contacted within the framework of contact research.

How to report it?

  • Notify us via coronavirus@vub.be if you think this is necessary.

Close contact or high-risk contact:

For the following kind of contacts, the risk of infection is considered "high":

  • You had contact with a person who tested positive for the COVID-19 virus for more than 15 minutes and at close range (less than 1.5m), without wearing a mouth mask correctly by one of you.
  • You had direct physical contact with a COVID-19 patient (e.g. kissing, resuscitation, closed care work, ...).
  • If you have been contacted by a contact researcher or defined by the Coronalert application as close contact, then you should follow the following advice:
  • You go into quarantine for 10 days. If you don’t develop symptoms during that period, you no longer have to quarantaine yourself. If you DO develop symptoms, have yourself tested.
  • You will not take part in any educational or other activities and you will not come to work.
  • You contact your GP if you experience symptoms.

Attention: if you have not been contacted by a contact researcher but you know of a contact with a high risk of infection, you will contact your GP and follow the guidelines of your GP.

How to report it?

  • Notify via coronavirus@vub.be + doctor's certificate via TEO (for staff) or via the faculty secretariat (for students, when missing compulsory teaching activities).

The only indication for a second test is if the first test gave a "weak positive" or "non-conclusive" result.
A second test to "prove" that you are cured makes no sense. The test can remain positive for up to 1 month.

After a positive test you will go into quarantine for 7 days, followed by 7 extra days of caution. This is sufficient according to the current guidelines.

You can get tested at the GP or at one of the test centres in Brussels or elsewhere - see also here. A prescription for testing is necessary.

For this, contact your regular GP or surf to telemedi to make a digital consultation. You can also call 1710. This number will take you to a dispatching of general practitioners in Brussels, who will advise you and refer you if necessary. Always make an appointment, don't just go there.

The fixed VUB cooperation partners - the group practices UGP in Auderghem and Patio in Jette - are not testing centres. They provide advice, write certificates and can provide test prescriptions for the Brussels test centres. In special cases, they administer the tests themselves. The general practitioners do this in addition to their regular care.

For more information and the availability of the group practices, please see UGP Auderghem or Patio Jette.

If you do have a regular GP, you should of course call him or her. 

If you come back from abroad or had a high-risk contact, it is no longer compulsory to have yourself tested until 15 November. Go into quarantine for 10 days. 

Quarantine and isolation questions

Please find the answers to quarantine and isolation questions below.

What does isolation involve?  

 

You go into isolation if you are infected with covid-19, or awaiting your test result if you show symptoms.

 

Isolation is like quarantine, but even stricter. You are not allowed to leave your place of residence.

 

Isolation takes at least 7 days (counting from the day of your test), but longer if necessary. You may only stop your isolation if you are declared healthy by a general practitioner. During your isolation, your housemates are in quarantine.

 

If possible, VUB will ask you to go into isolation at the location where you are currently staying, and not to commute back home or to your student room, in order to prevent further spread of the virus. Isolation in an environment with an increased risk of covid is not recommended (e.g. 65+, people with serious underlying medical conditions or reduced immunity). 

 

If you go into quarantine in a student room, VUB Student Housing has developed a procedure to organise and support this as safely as possible. So always inform VUB via info@vub.be.

 

Quarantine means staying indoors at a single place of residence. Currently the period is 10 days. You go into quarantine after close contact with an infected person, or after returning from a red zone, on the advice of the contact tracers, the general practitioner or following the general government guidelines.

If possible, VUB will ask you to go into quarantine at the location where you are currently staying, and not to commute back to your home or student home in order to prevent any further spread of the virus. Quarantine in an environment with an increased risk of covid is not recommended (e.g. 65+, people with serious underlying medical conditions or reduced immunity).

It can also be an option to move (in a safe, secluded way) to another location where you will go into complete isolation (empty premises, hotel room, ...).

If you go into quarantine in a student room, VUB Student Housing has developed a procedure to organise and support this as safely as possible. So always inform VUB via info@vub.be.

The most recent guidelines on quarantine can be found here.

Avoid contact with other people, also in your place of residence.

If unavoidable:

  • Always keep a distance of 1.5m and wear a face mask.
  • Do not share towels, bed linen and eating or drinking utensils with roommates. If possible, use a separate toilet and bathroom
  • Visits from external parties are not permitted
  • Working and going to school is not allowed. However, it is possible to attend telework or digital lessons.
  • Do not travel by public transport

If symptoms of COVID-19 occur, contact your local GP by telephone.

Do not leave your place of residence except for necessary groceries or urgent medical care, in which case always wear a face mask. Furthermore, observe all general guidelines concerning good ventilation and hygiene.

If the person in quarantine falls ill, housemates are considered close contacts.

If, during the period of quarantine, an infection is detected in you or a housemate, the 10-day quarantine period will start again. After 7 days of quarantine and a negative test, 4 days of extra vigilance and caution will follow, during which you will have to limit your social contacts.

You go into isolation if you are infected with covid-19, or awaiting your test result if you show symptoms.

Isolation is like quarantine, but even stricter. You are not allowed to leave your place of residence.

Isolation takes at least 7 days (counting from the day of your test), but longer if necessary. You may only stop your isolation if you are declared healthy by a general practitioner. During your isolation, your housemates are in quarantine.

If possible, VUB will ask you to go into isolation at the location where you are currently staying, and not to commute back home or to your student room, in order to prevent further spread of the virus. Isolation in an environment with an increased risk of covid is not recommended (e.g. 65+, people with serious underlying medical conditions or reduced immunity). 

If you go into quarantine in a student room, VUB Student Housing has developed a procedure to organise and support this as safely as possible. So always inform VUB via info@vub.be.

Quarantine is mandatory: 

  • If you returned from a red zone, according to government guideline
  • If you were in close contact with a person diagnosed with a covid-19 infection

Attention: If you have not been contacted by a contact researcher but know of a contact with a high risk of infection, contact your GP and follow his/her guidelines.

As a student, always inform the VUB via info@vub.be!

You may end quarantine if: 

  • you do not show any symptoms of covid-19. If you do show symptoms, go into isolation and get tested!
  • you have spent the entire period of 10 days in quarantine.
  • during the quarantine period, no infection is detected in one of your housemates or student room mates. If an infection is detected, the 7-day quarantine period will start again.

As a student, you should always inform the VUB via info@vub.be.

After the quarantine period, another 7 days will follow in which you will have to be extra vigilant and careful, and limit your social contacts!

If in doubt, contact your family doctor.

You go into isolation when:

  • You show symptoms of covid-19. In this case you will have yourself tested ASAP; you will remain in isolation awaiting the result.
  • You are infected with the covid-19 virus, meaning you tested positive or your GP tells you so.

As a student you inform the VUB via info@vub.be.

You may only end isolation if you have been declared covid-free by your GP.

As a student you must inform the VUB of this.