From 14 to 17 September the European Parliament will hold its first 'normal' plenary session since March in Strasbourg. And the German EU presidency still has a few 'physical' ministerial meetings planned in Germany. That raises travel issues for Brussels correspondents wanting to attend those meetings in person.

This is what the authorities in Belgium, France and Germany have decided about travel to those destinations:

  • in general: the Belgian rules requiring people returning from high-risk areas in Europe to go into (voluntary or mandatory) quarantine, for the time being do not apply to journalists traveling for professional reasons. In document FAQ COVID-19 24/08/2020, issued on 24 August by the Belgian government, it is stated that ,"the temporary travel restrictions do not apply to key workers or people travelling for compelling reasons, such as (…) diplomats, staff of international organisations and people invited by international organisations whose physical presence is required for the proper functioning of those organisations, military staff, police officials, Immigration Office staff, customs staff, humanitarian staff and civil protection staff, as well as journalists when performing their duties and travelling for work"
  • the Belgian authorities have designated the French department of Bas-Rhin, where Strasbourg is located, as 'orange', meaning travel to it is allowed but discouraged and quarantine is advised but not mandatory on return to Belgium. But as stated above: journalists on work related trips are exempt from this. From their part, the French authorities have until today not issued any travel restrictions for people coming from Brussels, or Belgium, to the Strasbourg region.
  • the Berlin authorities have designated the Brussels and Antwerp regions as 'red' zones. That means that people who have been in the Province of Antwerp and in the Brussels-Capital Region during the last 14 days, will have to go to quarantine upon arrival in Berlin, unless they present a negative PCR COVID test taken less than 48h before arrival. This rule also applies to journalists and diplomats. More on

This reflects the situation on Friday 28 August. Rules and conditions can change rapidly. More information can be found on (the Belgian travel advisories are only available in French and Dutch)