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New COVID-19 measure - corona test for foreign workers

21 Dec 2020

Saturday, 19 December 2020, a new Ministerial Decree introducing additional corona measures was published. Foreign employees or self-employed workers who come to work in Belgium might need to provide evidence of a negative result of a corona test.

A quick reminder of the current measures with respect to foreign workers

As you have read in our newsletter of 2 September, some companies currently have an obligation to register each employee or self-employed worker living or staying abroad whom the company engages on a temporary basis.

This registration obligation applies in specific industries only, i.e. construction, agriculture, horticulture, meat processing and cleaning. Frontier workers - i.e. workers who have their residence in another Member State to which they return on a daily or (at least) weekly basis - and individuals who do not reside in Belgium for more than 48 hours are excluded from the scope.

New measure: a negative test before the start of the work in Belgium

This Saturday, 19 December 2020, a new Ministerial Decree introducing additional corona measures in this respect was published.

Foreign employees or self-employed workers coming to work in Belgium in any of the above industries now must provide evidence of a negative corona test before starting to perform any work in Belgium. These negative test results must be kept in a special register by the company (see above).

The Ministerial Decree makes a distinction between the situation where the worker travels with a ‘carrier’ in the sense of the Decree (i.e. a public or private air carrier, a public or private maritime carrier or an inland waterway carrier) or travels to Belgium without using such a carrier.

Travelling with a carrier from a ‘red zone’

In this case the employee or self-employed worker living or residing abroad must provide evidence of a negative result of a corona test carried out within 48 hours before arrival on Belgian territory.

The company that makes temporary use of these workers must check - before the start of the work - whether such a negative test result can be presented.

Travelling without a carrier

Workers who have not travelled with a ‘carrier’ in the sense of this Decree must in any case provide evidence of a negative result of a corona test carried out within 48 hours before starting to perform any work on Belgian territory.

In the absence of a negative result, the company cannot call on the services of the worker in question to work in Belgium and the worker must place himself/herself in quarantine until a negative result can be produced.

If you would have any questions with regard to the above, or about COVID-19 measures in general, do not hesitate to contact us.

Contact us

Bart Elias

Bart Elias

Partner, PwC Legal BV/SRL

Tel: +32 473 91 06 02

Pascale Moreau

Pascale Moreau

Partner, PwC Legal BV/SRL

Tel: +32 479 90 02 76

Jessica De Bels

Jessica De Bels

Managing Associate, PwC Legal BV/SRL

Tel: +32 472 46 98 19

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