archive photo: passengers show their documentation at Zaventem

On-the-spot fine for travellers without correct corona documents

 Anybody leaving or arriving in Belgium without the right corona documentation now faces a 250 euro fine. In the event of fraud a 750-euro awaits. Transport companies too face fines in such cases.

Travellers need to be able to produce their European Digital Corona Certificate as well as their filled in Passenger Locator Form, the PLF.  Not everybody is complying and some travellers have been caught attempting to commit fraud.  Judicial authorities have discovered that several transport company too are taking a lax approach to these life-saving formalities.

In response Belgian prosecutors have decided to come down hard on abuse. The softly-softly approach is being trashed and travellers without the correct documents, airlines and coach companies that are not following procedures all face fines.

Travellers flying into Belgium should not be allowed to board unless their PLF is correctly filled in.  On arrival, if this is not the case, the traveller will be offered an on-the spot amicable settlement and be required to pay 250 euros.  Refuse or contest the settlement and you face your day in police court. In the event of fraud, the amicable settlement rises to 750 euros.  Refuse or contest the settlement and you will face charges of fraud and use of forgeries.

Transport companies who fail to carry out checks and allow passengers without correct documentation on the flight face a day in court.  A prison sentence is an option, while fines may today amount to 48,000 euros.

Prosecutors and police have announced targeted checks at Brussels Airport.  More officers are being deployed.

“Travellers and companies will notice that more checks are being carried and out and, if necessary, more charge sheets will be issued” says Ine Van Wymersch of Halle Vilvoorde prosecutors. “Today all flights from outside the Schengen Zone are being completely checked.  Checks will also be carried out on flights inside Schengen.”

Prosecutors intend to prioritise any judicial cases. In recent months several airlines received warnings.  Prosecutors feel the time for warnings is now long gone.

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