The terrorist attacks in Brussels resulted in many casualties. Belgium is hurt but not yielding.
Our country has been overwhelmed by the world wide wave of sympathy both from official authorities and from the public at large.
The Embassy of Belgium in London is particularly touched by the condolences expressed by HM the Queen and HRH the Duke of Edinburgh as well as the many messages of support from various dignitaries and the British people.
The Crisis Centre of the Belgian Ministry of Foreign Affairs has issued the following update:
1. Maintained vigilance against terrorism (http://centredecrise.be)
The body in charge of the threat assessment (OCAD/OCAM, Coordination Body for Threat Analysis) maintains threat level 3 throughout the country. The threat is still considered serious, possible and probable.
OCAM and its partners follow the situation and evaluate information constantly.
There will be
- increased vigilance in the major train stations, national and regional airports, public transportation across the country, in particular the Brussels metro,and around all nuclear sites
- increased presence of police and military on strategic sites and at venues with high concentrations of people throughout the country.
On April 3, Brussels Airport symbolically resumed commercial flights with the Brussels Airlines Magritte plane flying to Faro in Portugal.
Brussels Airport is once again handling foreign airlines and any airlines have now resumed their flights from Brussels Airport. Given the current occupancy rate of departure and arrival slots, 225 flights can be operated per day, compared to the 350 flights normally scheduled for this time of year.
Useful information for passengers:
The airport is currently accessible to private cars, busses, trains and taxis. Additional security measures will be provided at the entrance of the airport territory and at the temporary check in area.
Brussels Airport advises passengers to arrive at least 3 hours before their flight and to keep their I.D. and travel documents at hand whilst in their car and in the temporary check-in area.
It is only possible to drop-off passengers at parking lot P2. All other parking lots, including the Brucargo site, are currently closed. It is not permitted to accompany passengers to the check-in area. At the parking lot, only people with a valid flight ticket will be allowed to access the provisional check-in area.
Picking up passengers is only possible at parking lot P2. A "pick-up" area will be put in place where drivers will be able to wait for passengers. The first 10 minutes of parking in P2 are free. Within this time limit, it is not necessary to validate one’s ticket at the ticket machines. Drivers can exit with their tickets.
On 1 May the departure hall partially reopened and 26 airlines have now resumed their activities from this hall. The remaining airlines still operate from the temporary departure hall (on the same level as the bus station).
II. STIB/MIVB (Public transport company) Brussels (www.stib-mivb.be/index.htm?l=en)
Since April 7, all public bus services to and from Brussels Airport run normally.
The transport network STIB is now operating a normal service. Military and police reinforcement is maintained throughout the underground network.
- The 4 metro lines run again as normal and all stations are now open, including Maelbeek station.
- The pre-metro is fully operational from start to end of service.
- Only 1 or 2 access points are open per station.
See open access: http://www.stib-mivb.be/stations.html?l=fr
- The surface network - bus and tram - is running in its entirety (including the line 12).
III. SNCB/NMBS (www.belgianrail.be/en)
Four weeks after the devastating attacks in Brussels, exceptional security measures are still in force in the main train stations across the country, though systematic bag checks are no longer in place. The situation is reviewed daily by security officials, uniting federal police, local police, and Securail.
Trains to and from Brussels Airport resumed on 22 April. The old train station was reopened until the new station has been fully restored.
IV. Thalys (https://www.thalys.com/be/en/)
The services operate normally.
V. Eurostar (www.eurostar.com)
The services operate normally.
3. Attractions and shopping
Are tourist sights, museums and monuments open?
In the Walloon and Flemish Regions, all tourist attractions, public places, concerts and restaurants are open as normal.
In the Brussels-Capital Region, the cultural, commercial and tourist activities have resumed. Museums have re-opened under vigilance and increased security checks.
Are concerts and shows canceled?
Shows and concerts are scheduled to take place, subject to a decision of the organisers, who have announced increased security measures. The operators and organisers of the event are responsible for the organisation and the security of the event.
The security measures, especially in terms of access control and filtering at the entries, are heightened in order to ensure maximum safety.
Are the stores open?
All stores are open, including department stores and large shopping centres.
4. Hotels, restaurants
Hotels, restaurants, bars and clubs are open and function normally.
5. Events, exhibitions
Are public events held?
Events organised on public property are evaluated on a case by case basis.
Are conferences, conventions and exhibitions maintained?
Trade shows, conferences and future conferences go ahead, with strengthened security measures.
6. Borders and entry conditions
Are Belgium’s borders closed?
The borders remain open, but additional checks may take place at entry points of the territory.
What are the necessary documents?
The documents required to enter Belgium remain the same documents normally required to nationals of your country. Citizens of a country member of the EU do not need a visa, only a valid ID (identity card or passport).
Do Europeans need their passports in order to come to Belgium?
Nationals of countries member of the European Union need a valid form of ID (identity card or passport). In general, the documents required to enter Belgium are the same as usual.
Is my visa still valid?
Yes, visas issued before the implementation of border control remain valid for entering the national territory.