Reference: SHAPE/NMR/COVID/UK_Travel 25 Jun 21
1. Introduction. Following very recent changes regarding travel to and from Belgium and the UK, with the UK being listed as a Very High Risk country, the following update is given with a summary of the pertinent points that should be considered and adhered to if you are intending to travel.
2. BEL Passenger Locator Form (PLF) and the ’48hr’ rule. With effect from Sat 26 Jun, ‘measures for territories of countries classified as very high risk’ on the Belgian COVID website take effect. This means that anyone who is authorised to travel/return from the UK to Belgium must fill in a Passenger Locator Form (PLF), regardless of how they travel or for how long they are staying in Belgium or abroad. This change removes the previous 48hr rule that we were able to take advantage of.
3. Essential Travel Certificate. The Belgian regulations require travellers from the UK to demonstrate that their journey is essential. We discussed this with SHAPE authorities, who have informed us that they consider the SHAPE Enclosure 1 (from SHAPE COS Order 93) to be a certificate of essential need for the journey, and so is an essential travel certificate. This form therefore provides the authority to return to Belgium for ‘essential reasons’ for the Service person and/or their family/dependants. You should annotate that your return journey is to the ‘main residence‘ in Belgium.
4. Quarantine. When returning from the UK, and having completed a Belgian PLF, quarantine for 10 days and testing on day 1 and day 7 will be required. www.info-coronavirus.be/en/countries-with-high-risk gives the details.
5. Returning to work when directed to quarantine. There have been no changes to the applicability of exemptions for essential workers of international organisations. A SHAPE 2* and the UK NMR remain the authority to provide exemptions at SHAPE.
6. Day 2 and 8 Testing in the UK. Due to a change in UK legislation, proof of Day 2 and Day 8 test booking is again mandatory prior to arrival in the UK. This change is now reflected in law and is in immediate effect, regardless of the duration of stay in the UK. For those travelling on Duty, GYH(O) or with a PRE these can be booked via EJSU Net.
7. Next Steps. We continue to engage regularly with the Host Nation authorities to seek clarity on all matters relating to COVID, in addition to regular dialogue with UK MOD. If at any time you have questions regarding COVID policy, please speak to the UK NMR team for guidance.