Incoming (research) staff

Information regarding travel, COVID-19 testing and vaccination for international (research) staff

Where can I find information about travelling to and from Belgium?

  • Travelling within the EU+ (= the 27 EU Member States + Norway, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Switzerland) is different than travelling to and from non EU+ countries.
    The travel policies may change rapidly in Belgium, the EU+ countries and worldwide.
    Please check
  • The travel and entry measures of the Belgian government. Measures are different depending on your country of departure, but they may also be adapted to your place of residence in Belgium.
  • The travel advice from your government for Belgium or for another country of destination
  • With the Belgian Embassy/Consulate in your country of departure
  • The information on travel restrictions to and EU+ countries

Where can I do a COVID-19 test in Belgium?

Your PLF form is being reviewed. What happens then?

  • If you are at high risk of infection (arriving from a red zone) , you will receive 3 text messages from the number 8810 or 8811.
  • The first text message will tell you that you must go into quarantine on arrival (normal duration 10 days, may be completed after the second negative test from day 7) and must be tested with a PCR test. The day of arrival in Belgium is considered as day 0.
  • The 2nd text message follows at most 24 hours after arrival in Belgium and contains a quarantine certificate and a 16-digit "corona test prescription code" to have yourself tested (with a PCR test) on day 1 after your return. You can make an appointment for a test via this online booking tool. You can opt for a testing centre of your choice or choose for the UZ Ghent University Hospital Test Centre
  • The 3rd text message you will receive on day 5 after your return home, contains a new 16-digit "corona test prescription code" to get you tested from day 7 after the day you got home. You have to make a new appointment.
  • You will receive your results.
  • Are you not receiving a text message when you would expect to (after travelling in a red zone)? Please contact +32 (0)2 214 19 19 so that your situation can be reviewed. If necessary, text messages with attestation and test code(s) can be sent again.

Is the COVID-19 test for free?

The test is free of charge for staff with a valid Belgian health insurance

  • Who have had a high-risk contact according to contact tracers of UGent or the government,
  • Who are returning from a red zone abroad
  • Who need a test before an admission or procedure in hospital
  • Who have COVID-19 symptoms
  • Staff without valid Belgian health insurance pay the cost of the lab analysis (€ 47.18) + € 31,93 administration cost at the consultation itself but can possibly get it refunded through their own health insurance.

What if I have tested positive?

If you have tested positive for COVID-19, please strictly follow the recommendations of a general practitioner of your choice.

Which vaccines are approved by Belgium?

The following COVID-19 vaccines are recognised by the Belgian authorities:

  • EMA (European Medicines Agency) certified vaccines: Pfizer/BioNTech (Comirnaty), Moderna, AstraZeneca/Oxford (Vaxzevria), Janssen, Novavax
  • Covishield

If you have further questions about vaccines, please check the official webpage.

In Belgium COVID-19 vaccination is a right and not an obligation.

I have not yet been (fully) vaccinated or I received a non-EU approved vaccine. Can I get my EU/Belgian approved vaccine in Belgium?

Yes this is possible.

  • If you have an official domicile address in Belgium
    - You need a BIS number or a (Belgian) National Registration number (=rijksregisternummer) to make an appointment (see below)
    - You can make an appointment for vaccination by calling the vaccination hotline (+329 210 10 44) or with the assistance of the or a general practitioner of your choice.

What is a BIS number and how to obtain this?

The BIS number is a unique identification number for persons who stay longer than 3 months in Belgium and are not registered in the Belgian National Register (yet), but who have social security related contact with the Belgian government. You need this BIS number to make an appointment in the vaccination centre.
If you are international researcher with a contract/bursary agreement from UGent, ask your contact person from HR or welcome.dpo@ugent.be for your BIS number.
If you come as researcher staying more than 3 months in Belgium with an external funding, also contact HR or welcome.dpo@ugent.be for this number. 

How do I obtain a certificate of vaccination in Belgium when I have been (partially) vaccinated in my home country with an EU/Belgian approved vaccine?

  • Apply for a BIS number (see above) or use your Belgian National Registration number (‘Rijksregisternummer’)
  • Contact gezondheid@ugent.be with proof of your BIS or Belgian national registration number, and a copy of the vaccination attestation (containing details regarding the received vaccines)
  • About three days later your vaccination will be registered in the official government database 'Vaccinnet'.

How can I consult my certificate of vaccination or COVID-19 test result?

You can consult your health related information, such as COVID-19 test results or your COVID-19 vaccination, via My Health Viewer. About two days after you received the last dose of your vaccination or has been registered in Vaccinnet this is already consultable in My Health Viewer . My Health Viewer is an official webpage by the Belgian government, that you can only access with a digital key.


There are several ways to obtain this digital key:
1. If you have a Belgian eID, you can easily activate this digital key. If you don't have a Belgian eID, you should go in person to the registration office of the city where you live. In Ghent, this is the Gent Infopunt. You will be registered once your identity has been checked. Use e.g. your international passport of you EU ID Card. During registration you will be given a personal activation code on paper and a link will be sent to your e-mail address. As soon as you have activated a digital key through the activation link and code, you will be given access to the online services of the government, based on your user name, password and digital key, and you will also be able to manage your digital keys. Check this video for more detailed information.
2. Through a recognized authentication system of your country (currently the Czech Republic, Germany, Estonia, Spain, Croatia, Italy, Luxembourg, Latvia, Portugal and Slovakia)
3. Through an Itsme account granted after one-time authentication at a Belgian bank office
4. After a one-time registration with a general practitioner.


What is a Covid Safe Ticket?

This is the same as a Covid Safe Pass or a EU Digital COVID Certificate (in some EU countries also called Corona Pass or Green Pass…)
It is a proof that either

  •  You have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19 with an EU approved vaccin
  • Received a negative test result or
  • Recovered from COVID-19

This pass is needed for travelling within the EU, for certain events and from 1/11/2021 onwards in fitness centers and in restaurants and cafes including Ghent University restaurants and cafeterias.
More detailed information can be found on the Covid Safe app website.

If you experience problems to access your Covid Safe Ticket all information is available in this document.

How about health insurance?

All international staff are obliged to have a health insurance during the stay in Belgium.
Please consult your private health insurance before you leave on whether you are covered for covid-19 related matters.
If you are moving to Belgium from outside the EU, we strongly recommend arranging travel insurance for the first month. Travel insurance plans usually cover your medical and urgent dental fees, as well as exceptional events such as repatriation and medical transport.
Please read this information carefully.


Where can I find general guidelines regarding (possible) infection, high risk contacts and quarantine?

Please check this webpage


I feel unhappy/lonely during my quarantine. Can I speak to someone? What can I do?


You can contact trustpunt at trustpunt@ugent.be

Please check some tips