Frequently Asked Questions

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App

The CovidSafeBE app for Android works on all devices running Android 5 and up. The iPhone app works on the iPhone 5S and all later models running at least iOS 12.5. Older devices are also supported, so the app is compatible with more devices than the Belgian Coronalert app. About 96% of all currently used smartphones will be able to use the mobile app.

The easiest way to sign in with the app is with Itsme or with one of the eHealth sign in options.

You can request a child certificate on eHealth. Select your child's name and download the available certificates on the mobile app.

The Coronalert tracing app alerts citizens who have been in close contact with someone who tested positive for Covid-19. This is always done anonymously.

The CovidSafeBE app has a different purpose: you sign in with your own digital ID and your certificate is personal.

That is why we created a separate app: the Coronalert app guarantees anonymity, and the CovidSafeBE app processes personal data based on a highly secure login process.

Police services can ask you to produce your certificate for scanning e.g. border check. Some transport companies may require a certificate to avoid unpleasant surprises upon arrival.

Belgium uses the CovidScanBE app for this purpose. In the future CovidScanBE will also be used by event organisers.

For security and privacy reasons random QR code scanners will not be able to scan your QR code and access its data. This also goes for other entry tickets (e.g. movie tickets) that use a QR code.

The app can be downloaded via the Play Store (Google) or App Store (Apple). A link to both stores can be found on the website CovidScan.be.

After scanning the QR code of the certificate the app displays the data also contained in the certificate, such as the name and the type of certificate. You can scan both your smartphone screen and a printed version of the document.

Certificates

Because the EU Member States have agreed the structure of the certificates, they look similar throughout the European Union. Each certificate contains a unique QR code. EU Member States can scan this code to check that the certificate is correct and valid. Belgian certificates are in English and in the country’s three national languages Dutch, French and German.

The information used to create the certificates comes from a database. Recovery certificates and test certificates show the test data that was registered by the Sciensano labs. Vaccination certificates show the data that was entered into Vaccinnet by vaccination centres, care centres, hospitals and so on.

Each certificate is personal. This means that you will receive a separate certificate for each family member. Parents can request the certificates for minor children. A separate certificate is issued for each test and each vaccination (both your first and second vaccination), so you will likely receive more than one certificate.

All EU countries will accept proof of full vaccination. However, not every EU Member State will accept certificates of partial vaccination. The conditions of all countries (and often separate regions) are available on the ReOpen EU website.

Some EU Member States will require travellers to provide proof of full vaccination. In Belgium, you are considered fully vaccinated when you have received the final dose of your vaccine. For most vaccines, that is the second dose. For some vaccines only one dose is given.

Recovery certificates and single dose vaccination certificates are considered equivalent to full vaccination in Belgium

Children under 6 do not need a certificate to travel.

Children aged 6 to 18 do need a certificate to travel just like adults. They currently receive test certificates or recovery certificates. Once this age group has been vaccinated, these children will also receive vaccination certificates.

Please note that each EU Member State is free to set different conditions for travellers aged 6 to 18. The conditions of all countries (and often separate regions) are available on the ReOpen EU website.

Vaccination certificates become available at least 48h after your vaccination (but it may take up to one week). This depends on when the vaccination centre has entered the data into the Vaccinnet database. There is no set time limit for this type of data entry. It is usually done on the day of the vaccination itself, but it may also be done a few days later.

Test certificates become available one and a half hours after the lab has entered the test data into the Sciensano database. This is usually around the time you are advised of your test results.

Recovery certificates are available 11 days after the lab has entered the test results of a positive Covid test in the Sciensano database.

Vaccination certificates are valid for 1 year starting from the day of vaccination. Certificates that become available the day after vaccination are therefore valid for 364 days after that.

Test certificates are valid for 72 hours starting from the time of the test. As the labs need time to process the tests and enter the results, test certificates will usually be valid for 24 to 48 hours from the moment you receive them.

Recovery certificates become valid 11 days after the time of a positive test and remain valid for 180 days after the time of the positive test.

If you live or work in Belgium for a long period you probably have a BIS identification number. With this number you can retrieve your digital certificate via the CovidSafeBE app or the online portals (see covidsafe.be).

If you have a recognised digital key from a different European country you can also log on via eIDAS to download your certificate. Click here for more details on the use of eIDAS identification.

Would you rather receive your certificate via regular mail? Then the paper version is sent to your foreign address.

Belgians domiciled in Belgium can apply for a certificate for a vaccination carried out abroad. The following conditions must be met:

  • The vaccine in question must be authorised in Belgium.
  • The vaccination took place within the European Area (all EU countries + Norway, Iceland, Switzerland and Liechtenstein).
  • You have a national registry number or a BIS identification number with Belgium as your main place of residence. In all other cases Belgium will not issue a vaccination certificate. The vaccination certificate will then be drawn up and issued by the country where the vaccination took place.

Were you vaccinated in Flanders? Then contact your vaccination centre and submit proof of identity, with mention of your national registry number or BIS identification number. You can also present your vaccination card. The vaccinator will make the necessary adjustments as a result of which a new, corrected vaccination certificate will be issued through the usual channels. You will receive the new certificate the following day at the earliest.

Were you vaccinated in Wallonia or Brussels? Contact the reception staff by phone to report the error (go to covidsafe.be for contact info) or report it yourself using the online form for your region. For Brussels: coronavirus.brussels. In Wallonia you will find the online form at requete-vaccination.aviq.be.

Are you part of the German-speaking Community? Contact the reception staff by phone to report the error (go to covidsafe.be for contact info).

Vaccination certificates remain valid for 365 days after the vaccination. As of yet there is no decision as to what happens when the validity of a vaccination certificate expires.

Recovery certificates are only issued on the basis of a positive PCR test. No recovery certificates can be issued based on a self-test, rapid test (rapid antigen test or rapid serological test) or a rapid antibody test.

Only positive PCR test results correctly forwarded to Sciensano by an accredited laboratory are eligible for a recovery certificate.

All times on the certificates are rendered in UTC format (Coordinated Universal Time) in order to avoid misunderstandings with other European countries. The difference with Belgian summer time is 2 hours and that is why it seems as if there’s an error. Presently the certificates will list both UTC time and Belgian summer time to avoid confusion.

The police services of the EU countries may ask you to produce your certificate for verification when you are visiting their country.

Travel organisations such as airlines can also demand to see your certificate. They do this to avoid unpleasant surprises in your destination country or to keep you from being refused access. Travellers should therefore consider such a check a service instead of a nuisance.

The classic Covid-19 test consists of a PCR test that detects genetic material of the virus. This is the most reliable test but you must wait for the result until the test has been analysed by an accredited laboratory. If all other conditions are met as well, this is the only test that comes with a recovery certificate. With this test patients may also receive a test certificate.

Rapid Covid-19 antigen tests measure the presence of certain proteins and don’t require analysis in a lab. They can be administered and read out instantly by medically trained personnel so that the result is available quickly (generally after 15 minutes). As of 1 July 2021 patients who take this test may also receive a test certificate. Please note that not all countries accept antigen tests.

With antibody testing or serological rapid testing, the patients’ blood is screened for the presence of antibodies against Covid-19, telling them whether they have been infected in the past. These tests do not entitle the patient to a certificate.

Classic rapid antigen tests may only be administered by medically trained personnel. There are also simpler antigen tests that can easily be administered by patients themselves and that are also known as self-tests. These tests do not entitle the patient to a certificate.

General explanation

Some terms:

  • PCR test = a test that indicates if Covid-19 virus is present in nasal and/or throat mucus, by detection of virus DNA. This is the most sensitive and reliable test.
  • Antigen test: this reacts to certain proteins of Covid-19 in nasal and/or throat mucus. This way you can quickly find out if you are carrying the virus. The test gives a faster result than the PCR-test but is less sensitive.
  • CTPC = Covid-19 Test Prescription Code, is an activation code consisting of 16 digits, with which you can have a test taken in a collection centre. This code can be obtained via the doctor or via a free or paid activation code that can be requested via www.myhealth.belgium.be.

Recovery certificate:
A recovery certificate will be issued if you have a positive PCR test result with a sample collection date of no more than 180 days, and if this has been correctly registered by the lab with Sciensano.

Recovery certificate if you have multiple positive PCR tests:
A period of more than 90 days between sample collection dates of different positive PCR test results indicates a new contamination after a recovery from a previous contamination, and then the recovery certificate is issued based on the recovery from the most recent contamination.

Therefore, if you have multiple positive PCR test results, the positive PCR test results whose sample collection date is older than 90 days before the sample collection date of the most recent positive PCR test result will not be taken into account.

Validity of the recovery certificate:
The recovery certificate is valid from 11 days after the sampling date of the oldest PCR test result taken into account and up to 180 days after that sampling date.

Check whether your data is known to Sciensano in order to obtain a recovery certificate:
You can consult all PCR test results available at the labs through www.myhealth.belgium.be, after authentication. PCR test results that are not available at the labs are also not known at Sciensano.

If you are certain that you had a positive PCR test less than 180 days ago and you are expecting a recovery certificate, you can use this method to check whether the test result is indeed known. This will probably be the reason why you have not received a recovery certificate.

The following explains exactly how to do this.

What can you check yourself and how?

For sample collections of up to 60 days ago: check if the positive PCR test result is available at Sciensano:
Find out the CTPC code used for the sample collection for the PCR test

  • either by looking it up in the text message or in the e-mail that delivered it to you
  • or via the "My test results" function in the "COVID 19 - Personal data" tile at www.myhealth.belgium.be.

Then, on the basis of this CTPC code, look up the test result via the function "Test result via CTPC code" in the tile "COVID 19 - Personal data" on www.myhealth.belgium.be.

  • if no PCR test result or an incorrect PCR test result is available, contact the lab and ask for
    • to communicate the (correct) PCR test result to Sciensano
    • quoting your NISS number and the CTPC code from which the test was performed
  • if there is a positive PCR test result that should give rise to a recovery certificate, but no recovery certificate is available, please contact our helpdesk at the number 078 78 78 50 (9am to 7pm on weekdays)for Flanders, 071 31 34 93 (9am to 7pm, from Monday till Saturday) for Wallonia or 02 214 19 19 (9am to 5.30pm on weekdays 10am - 5.30pm on weekends and public holidays) for Brussels.

For sample collection more than 60 days and up to 180 days ago: check if the positive PCR test result is available on the lab's result server:

Find the test results via the "My test results" function in the "COVID 19 - Personal data" tile at www.myhealth.belgium.be.

  • if a positive PCR test result is available, contact the laboratory and ask for
    • to communicate the test result to Sciensano
    • quoting your NISS number and the CTPC code from which the test was performed
  • if there is no positive PCR test result available from no more than 180 days ago, you are not entitled to a recovery certificate.

General explanation

Vaccination certificate:

A vaccination certificate will be issued if your vaccination is registered in Vaccinnet by the person who vaccinated you (a vaccination centre, for example).

Validity:

The vaccination certificate is valid as long as the EU Regulation on the EU-COVID digital certificate is applicable, i.e. until 30 June 2022.

Check that your details are known to Vaccinnet to obtain a vaccination certificate:

You can consult your vaccination data in Vaccinnet via www.myhealth.belgium.be after authentication.

What can a citizen check for himself and how?

Checking that vaccination data is correctly recorded in Vaccinnet:

Find the information available in Vaccinnet through the "My Vaccination Data" function in the "COVID 19 - Personal Data" tile at www.myhealth.belgium.be.

  • if the information about your vaccination status is wrong, contact the person who carried out the vaccination and ask to correct the vaccination status in Vaccinnet; the way to do this varies depending on the region you live in and is explained on www.covidsafe.be/en/frequently-asked-questions.
  • if the information about your vaccination status is correct, but no correct vaccination certificate is available, please contact our helpdesk at the number 078 78 78 50 (9am to 7pm on weekdays)for Flanders, 071 31 34 93 (9am to 7pm, from Monday till Saturday) for Wallonia or 02 214 19 19 (9am to 5.30pm on weekdays 10am - 5.30pm on weekends and public holidays) for Brussels.

General explanation

Test certificate:

A test certificate shall be issued if

  • there is a negative PCR test result from you registered with Sciensano with a sample collection time of maximum 72 hours ago or
  • a negative rapid antigen test result from you has been registered with Sciensano with a sample date of no more than 48 hours ago.

Validity:

The test certificate is valid from the time of sample collection until 72 hours or 48 hours after the sample was taken from you, depending on whether the test performed is a PCR test or a rapid antigen test, respectively.

Check that your details are known to Sciensano in order to obtain a test certificate:

The negative PCR test results are communicated to Sciensano by the lab that performed the test. It is important that the person who took the sample provides the lab with your NISS number and CTPC code.

Negative rapid antigen test results are communicated to Sciensano by the health care provider who carried out the rapid antigen test, stating your NISS number, and preferably, the CTPC code on the basis of which the sample for the test was taken.

You can consult all PCR test results that are available at the labs via www.myhealth.belgium.be, after authentication. PCR test results that are not available at the labs are also not known by Sciensano, as a result of which no test certificate is issued.

If the CTPC code on the basis of which the test was performed has been communicated to Sciensano, you can check whether the test result is available at Sciensano via www.myhealth.belgium.be.

How to do this is explained below.

What can you check yourself and how?

Check whether the negative test result is available at Sciensano:

Retrieve the CTPC code used for the sample collection for the test

  • either by looking it up in the text message or in the e-mail with which it was delivered to you
  • or via the "My test results" function in the "COVID 19 - Personal data" tile at www.myhealth.belgium.be.

Then, on the basis of this CTPC code, look up the test result via the function "Test result via CTPC code" in the tile "COVID 19 - Personal data" on www.myhealth.belgium.be.

  • if there is no negative PCR test result or a wrong PCR test result available, contact the lab and ask for
    • to communicate the (correct) PCR test result to Sciensano
    • stating your NISS number and the CTPC code on the basis of which the test was carried out
  • if there is no negative rapid antigen test result or there is a false rapid antigen test result, contact the healthcare provider who performed the rapid antigen test and ask
    • to communicate the (correct) rapid antigen test result to Sciensano
    • stating your NISS number and the CTPC code on the basis of which the test was carried out
  • if a negative PCR test result or a rapid antigen test result is available that should lead to a test certificate, but no test certificate is available, please contact our helpdesk at the number 078 78 78 50 (9am to 7pm on weekdays)for Flanders, 071 31 34 93 (9am to 7pm, from Monday till Saturday) for Wallonia or 02 214 19 19 (9am to 5.30pm on weekdays 10am - 5.30pm on weekends and public holidays) for Brussels.

About events

The rules regarding Covid certificate checks apply to large-scale or mass events (5,000 to 75,000 visitors) from 13 August 2021 through 30 September 2021.

As of 13 August 2021 a Covid certificate will also be required for test or pilot projects. A test or pilot project is a research-oriented experiment that tells experts more about e.g. contamination risks.

From 13 August until 30 September 2021 mass events (5,000 to 75,000 visitors) can be organised at which your Covid certificate will be checked as a means of access.

Every time you access an event location dedicated staff will ask you to present a valid Covid certificate. This is either the certificate in your CovidSafeBE app or a printed version. The certificate inspector will use an official scan app to check the validity of your certificate.

Whether or not your Covid certificate is still valid is determined through 8 parameters that must be validated during the access scan. These parameters are:

  1. The member state that administered the test or the vaccine
  2. The birth year of the person involved
  3. For recovery certificates: the date of the initial positive test result

4, 5. With a vaccination certificate: the vaccination date and status

6, 7, 8. With a test certificate: the test result, date and type

A check of this data always results either in the decision to admit the visitor to the event or the decision to refuse access.

For multi-day events visitors will have to present a valid Covid certificate every time they access the event location. Spending the night at the campsite is allowed on condition that your certificate is still valid.

If your certificate should expire during your presence (e.g. a test certificate that expires at 10 a.m.) you are allowed to stay until midnight.

If you took a rapid test to get into the event then you will have to do so every other day. If the result is negative you can stay on the grounds.

Based on a valid Covid certificate, the organisers of a multi-day test or pilot project or mass event can provide visitors with a means (e.g. a wristband) to indicate the validity period of the Covid certificate, on the basis of which the user can access the event without getting tested (again) or having the Covid Safe Ticket scanned again.

Not yet but this functionality will be included in the next update of the CovidSafeBE app. After the update the app will indicate for every certificate whether or not it meets the rules of a mass event.

When your Covid certificate is scanned at an event no health data is shared with the organiser or the security firm. They only get to see your full name, the validity period of your certificate and whether it meets the requirements to access the event.