COVID-19: measures and FAQs
Coronavirus measures by the city of Ghent, frequently asked questions and general information about COVID-19 in Belgium.
Ghent COVID-19 test centre - UPDATE
You currently can get tested at the Ghent Test centre at AZ Jan Palfijn when:
- You live in Ghent or one of the suburbs
- You have (mild) Covid-19 symptoms
- You have a prescription from your doctor or from contacttracing
The Ghent Test centre is accessible by appointment only, from Monday to Saturday, from 8 am to 4 pm.
For more info on safety guidelines, read our quick guide.
Find out which measures currently are in hand in Ghent (shops, restaurants, transport, leisure and tourist activities) and what these measures imply to you as a visitor on Visit Gent, the official tourist information centre of the City of Ghent.
Information for international students
FAQ about COVID-19 for international students: frequently asked questions and answers about studying, going to a student room and organizing activities in times of corona.
News and numbers
For recent figures of COVID-19 infections in Ghent (and other Belgian cities), visit Sciensona. For the latest news on COVID-19 measures and policy in Ghent, check out our information updates in English.
Face masks in the streets
In certain Ghent streets, wearing a face mask is mandatory:
The below FAQs are a translation of the most frequently asked questions concerning the corona measures in Ghent. We try to keep them updated as much as we can. For a selection of frequently asked questions in 10 other languages (dd 25 March), go to stad.gent/corona ('meertalige informatie').
Can't find what you're looking for? Call the Gentinfo service centre at +32 9 210 10 10 or ask your question via email: email@example.com.
- Stay home when you are ill.
- Wash your hands often with water and soap.
- Avoid shaking hands, kissing, or hugging.
- Always use paper tissues. Dispose of the tissues immediately after use and throw them away in a closed dustbin. If you do not have a tissue, sneeze or cough into the crease of your elbow.
- Keep a minimum distance of 1.5 metres from other people.
- Make sure to always have a face mask with you. If you are in a public place (station, market, shop, etc.) and unable to keep a distance of 1.5 metres, it is best to wear a face mask. All information on how to wear, make, wash, put on or take off a mouth mask can be found on this page.
People with symptoms (coughing, sneezing, fever, respiratory problems,...) are asked to contact their general practitioner/family doctor by phone only. Do not go to the waiting room or the emergency department. Your doctor will determine by telephone whether you can remain at home or should go to the hospital. You don’t have a general practitioner? Contact a general practitioner in your area. Here you can search for a general practitioner in the region of Gent.
- On weekdays: call your general practitioner or find a general practitioner (GP) nearby
- At the weekend and at night (from 7 pm to 8 am): call 1733
The GP will conduct a free consultation by phone. He or she will assess whether you need to self-quarantine (stay at home) or whether a clinical examination is required. Other urgent care continues to be provided by GPs (including medication prescriptions). Call your GP if you require such care.
Face masks are mandatory for people aged 12 and over:
- on public transport and when taking a taxi
- in shops and busy streets and squares. Take a look at the overview map of all streets and squares where face masks are mandatory.
- in cinemas, theatres, concert halls and museums.
- at markets and in public buildings
- at cemeteries and funerals
- in hotels, restaurants and bars when moving from one place to another (e.g. when going to the toilet)
- when entering or leaving sports facilities, but not on sports fields.
- at the Blaarmeersen sports and recreational area, when moving from one place to another (e.g. when walking, jogging or cycling).
If you practise a sport in an enclosed area, you do not have to wear a face mask. If you go into the water to swim or if you are in a sunbathing area or on a beach near Krekenplas, you do not have to wear a face mask either.
Make sure to always have a face mask with you, wherever you go. It is compulsory!
You are allowed to move around freely. If you are using public transport (bus, tram or train) and are older than 12 years of age, you must wear a face mask or a scarf covering your mouth and nose. This is mandatory.
You are only allowed to visit countries in the European Union, the United Kingdom, Switzerland, Liechtenstein, Iceland or Norway, with the exception of territories designated as red zones.
If you plan to travel to Belgium or return to Belgium after a stay abroad, you are required to:
Since 1 August, anyone travelling to Belgium has been required to fill in the electronic 'Public Health Passenger Locator' form. The online form must be completed within 48 hours before your arrival in Belgium. Children under the age of 16 are registered on their parents' form. Once the form is completed, you will receive a QR validation code by email. This is proof that you have completed the form correctly. The form must be completed by:
- anyone travelling to Belgium by plane or by boat;
- anyone travelling to Belgium by a different mode of transport (bus, car, train, etc.) except:
- in case you are staying in Belgium for less than 48 hours;
- in case you are returning to Belgium after staying abroad for less than 48 hours.
Even if you return from a green (low-risk) zone, you must complete the form as the situation is changing every day. By completing the form, you can be directly and officially notified if the zone you stayed in has become red (high-risk).
Services provided by the City of Ghent
Services are mainly provided by the Civil Affairs department (Dienst Burgerzaken) via the municipal website and by phone, both at the Administrative Centre (AC) Zuid and at the service centres.
Most documents can be requested via the website of by phone. You only need to make an appointment to visit the Administrative Centre (AC) Zuid or a service centre in case your presence is required. This can be done online or via Gentinfo.
Visits are only by appointment at the following times:
- Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday from 9 am to 12.30 pm and from 2 pm to 4 pm.
Visits are also possible by appointment in the evening at the following times:
- At the small service centres on Mondays between 4.30 pm and 7 pm: Drongen – Mariakerke – Oostakker – Sint-Denijs-Westrem – Wondelgem – Zwijnaarde.
- At AC Zuid on Tuesdays between 4.30 pm and 7 pm.
- At the large service centres on Tuesdays between 4.30 pm and 7 pm: Gentbrugge – Nieuw Gent – Sint-Amandsberg – Wondelgem.
In addition, visits are possible by appointment at AC Zuid on Saturdays between 9 am and 12.30 pm.
The Muide-Meulestede service centre has been open for visits by appointment since 8 June.
The Sint-Kruis-Winkel service centre has been open for visits by appointment since 3 July.
If you have an appointment at the Civil Affairs department in AC Zuid, you first need to check in with the Ghent Information Point. This is possible on workdays from 8.30 am to 4.30 pm (on Tuesday until 7 pm).
At those times, you do not need an appointment for the following actions at the Ghent Information Point:
- Collect household waste bags with a social-correction coupon
- Purchase cab vouchers
- Have part-time unemployment documents stamped (Please note: not to be confused with temporary unemployment documents)
- Charge a budget meter
- Request digital keys
- Submit a request for a vaccination certificate
- Receive a certificate of entitlement to increased health insurance reimbursement.
You can make an appointment with the Migration Counter for the following services:
- Request, collect and extend an electronic residence card and a certificate of immatriculation (orange card).
The Migration Information Office reopened its doors on 3 June. Preferably ask your question by phone or email. If you are unable to do so, make an appointment to visit the office.
The City Shop is open from Monday to Friday between 9 am and 5 pm. The City Shop will remain closed on Saturdays until further notice. The Van Eyck shop underneath the Belfry is open during normal opening hours (from Monday to Sunday between 10 am and 6 pm).
You can postpone your marriage celebration free of charge. You can also go ahead with your wedding as planned, but since 3 Augustus a maximum of 40 people are allowed to attend wedding ceremonies, not including the registrar, the bridal couple and the photographer. This arrangement applies since October 19th.
Wedding ceremonies may be attended by a maximum of 40 people.
Funerals may also be attended by a maximum of 40 people. Wearing a face mask is mandatory both indoors and outdoors.
Funeral lunches and receptions may be attended by a maximum of 40 people, not including children under 12.
Religious services and meetings may take place under the following conditions:
- Wearing a face mask is mandatory
- A safety distance of 1.5 metres is to be observed at all times. A maximum of 100 people are allowed in the same room, provided that a space of at least 10 m² is available per person with a maximum of 40 people
- No physical contact between people is permitted, and attendants may not touch the same objects
- Hand sanitizer must be available at the entrance and exit
Births are not registered at the hospital at the moment. If you prefer not to register the birth at the registry office, you can do so by completing the form provided at the maternity ward.
Deaths cannot be registered at the registry office at the moment. It is only possible to register a death online.
Social services and well-being
- You can go to a local service centre for a limited range of face-to-face services such as a haircut, pedicure or manicure, takeaway and psychosocial support.
- Visitors always have to make an appointment first and observe the safety regulations.
- Since Monday 8 June, the local service centres have offered several group activities under strict conditions. You will be contacted in case the activity you registered for can take place.
- The service centre staff provide individual assistance to vulnerable residents through house visits and telephone contacts.
The City of Ghent provides access to a night shelter for the homeless (upon referral). By day, the homeless can go to drop-in centres upon referral by the Ghent Public Centre for Social Welfare (OCMW) or the centre for general welfare work (CAW).
More information about homeless support is available on the webpage Social initiatives during coronavirus.
Yes, organisations responsible for the distribution of food aid receive assistance and support in the implementation of the safety measures. More information about food initiatives is available on the webpage Social initiatives during coronavirus.
On the webpage Social initiatives during coronavirus you can find an overview of all relevant initiatives.
The toilets in the underground car parks and at the following locations are open 24/7: Botermarkt, Emile Braunplein, F.Lousbergkaai, Ottogracht, Oude Beestenmarkt, Sint-Michielshelling, Sint-Veerleplein, Woodrow Wilsonplein, Afsneedorp, Batterijstraat, Drongenplein, Hoveniersstraat, Krijzeltand, Ledebergplein and Voorhavenlaan.
The toilets at the following locations remain closed: Bijgaardenpark, Griendenplein (Gebroeders de Smetstraat), Vleeshuis (Groentenmarkt), Uco-site (Maïsstraat), Groende Vallei (Nieuwewandeling), Oostakkerdorp and Claragoed (Scheldekaai).
The toilets in the historical centre and car parks are cleaned several times a day. The toilets in the submunicipalities are cleaned every day as well.
Education and childcare
Yes, all children are once again welcome in childcare. If you have a question for the Childcare Service, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Since no quarantine measures apply to people who come into contact with or care for infected people, you can stay with your child if he/she is ill. However, you must keep your child at home for 7 days after the appearance of the symptoms. For instance, if your child fell ill on a Monday, he/she may not leave your home until the next Monday.
Does your child have any brothers or sisters? As long as they do not display any symptoms (e.g. respiratory problems or fever), there is no problem.
Waste company 'Ivago'
Ivago takes all appropriate steps to continue household waste collection. You may continue to put out your waste, and the collection of litter is ensured as well.
The 6 recycling centres are open:
- Ghent – Proeftuinstraat
- Ghent – Maïsstraat (via Gaardeniersweg)
- Gentbrugge – Jan Samijnstraat
- Drongen – Koninginnelaan
- Oostakker – Lourdesstraat
- Destelbergen – Stapsteenweg
All 6 parks are open to residents of Ghent and Destelbergen.
More information can be found on the Ivago website.
The shuttle services between the Weba/Decathlon park-and-ride site and the city centre as well as the Watersportbaan park-and-ride site and the city centre are provided at the following times:
From Monday to Friday:
- between 7 am and 10 am: every 15 minutes.
- between 10 am and 4 pm: every 30 minutes.
- between 4 pm and 7 pm: every 15 minutes.
On Saturdays, there is a shuttle once every 30 minutes between 9 am and 7 pm.
Passengers must wear a face mask, just like on public transport.
The free People Mover bus is available, and passengers must wear a face mask.
'De Fietsambassade' reopened its doors on 11 May. Everyone is welcome at the Bicycle Depot, bike point Dampoort, bike point Gent Sint-Pieters and bike point Kattenberg.
Bike point Centrum remains closed for now.
Yes you can. Shared cars, bikes and kick scooters are considered a means of transport and are therefore not banned.
Taxis are permitted to transport customers. A minimum distance of 1.5 metres must be maintained between each person. The number of people being transported depends on the type of vehicle. Members of the same household may share a cab and do not have to observe social distancing.
The same is true for carpooling.
Since 4 August, face masks have been mandatory when taking a taxi in Ghent. Both the driver and the passenger(s) must wear a face mask throughout the ride.
Parking regulations have once again been enforced since 18 May.
Low emission zone
Fines have once again been issued for vehicles entering the low emission zone (LEZ) without meeting the access requirements since Monday 18 May.
In the two previous months, no fines had temporarily been issued. The cameras had remained active, but people entering the LEZ with a vehicle that did not meet the access requirements received a letter instead of a fine. This measure remained in force until Sunday 17 May 2020.
Yes, you can.
Do you have a LEZ day pass or a LEZ permit for one week with a start date between 18 March 2020 and 18 May 2020? In that case you can cancel your day pass or permit with full reimbursement regardless of the time of the request. Send an email to email@example.com stating your number plate and the date of your LEZ day pass or LEZ permit. Please mention in your email your intention to cancel your LEZ day pass or LEZ permit as well as the bank account into which the refund is to be paid. Unfortunately it is not possible to reimburse a LEZ day pass or a LEZ permit for one week with a start date prior to 18 March 2020.
If you bought a LEZ permit for one month, four months or one year which is/was valid between 18 March and 18 May 2020, then you will automatically receive a new LEZ permit. You will be informed personally by email in the next few weeks.
- Your new permit will have the same validity as the original permit at the most and cannot exceed 61 days or the period in which the strictest federal measures were applicable.
- If your original permit is still valid, your new permit will automatically take effect 1 day after the end date of your original permit .
- Has your original permit expired during the crisis period? In that case your new permit will automatically take effect on 18 May 2020.
Yes, you can. All Ghent hospitals (UZ Gent, Maria Middelares, AZ Jan Palfijn, AZ Sint-Lucas) can be easily reached. To maximally support caregivers, the City of Ghent temporarily modified the LEZ regulations and did not issue any LEZ fines. This measures remained in force until Sunday 17 May 2020. Fines have once again been issued for vehicles entering the LEZ without meeting the access requirements since Monday 18 May 2020.
AZ Sint-Lucas is the only Ghent hospital located within the low emission zone, but it can be easily reached without entering the LEZ. Take the Ghent ring road (R40) and Blaisantvest, then enter 'Terhagen', a street which leads you straight to the AZ Sint-Lucas hospital's car park and main entrance. The approach route is also the recommended route to reach the emergency department, where separate parking spaces are available. These approach routes are outside the low emission zone.
Note: This exception does not apply to the car park of AZ Sint-Lucas - Campus Volkskliniek in Tichelrei. All visitors of AZ Sint-Lucas are advised to take Blaisantvest.
You can call +32 9 210 10 30 or email your question to firstname.lastname@example.org. Do you want to ask your question in person? You can make an appointment online.
Note: we currently only schedule appointments on Friday morning.
Shops, hotels, restaurants and bars
- Essential shops are open. For example: supermarket, bakery, pharmacy or post office. Garden centres, newsagents and do-it-yourself shops are open too.
- All other shops are closed. You are allowed to pick up products or have them delivered to you.
- Markets are open. Only stalls with essential products (such as food) are allowed. Rumbling markets and Christmas markets are not allowed.
- Contact professions such as hairdressers and beauty salons must temporarily cease their activities. Contact professions can only continue to work in the context of medical treatment.
- Night shops are open until 10 pm.
- You are not allowed to buy alcohol after 8 PM.
- Cafés and restaurants are closed. You can order take away until 10 PM.
- Do you own a shop? Read the guide by the FPS Economy.
- Do you own a pub or restaurant? Read the guide by the FPS Economy.
- Night shops may remain open from the usual opening time until 10 pm.
- There is also a ban on the sale of alcohol after 8 pm.
Cafes and restaurants are currenty closed. Takeaway of meals is still possible until 10 pm. You can no longer buy alcohol after 8 pm.
No, they are currently closed.
Hotels, vacation rentals and tourist accommodations (e.g. holiday homes, camp sites, B&Bs, holiday resorts and Airbnb) remain open, subject to compliance with the applicable protocols.
Please note that several hotels have decided to close. For further information, please check the website of the accommodations in question.
Vacation rentals and tourist accommodations (e.g. holiday homes, camp sites, B&Bs, holiday resorts and Airbnb) are open.
Markets that sell essential good remain open. Other markets and fairs, such as Christmas markets and flea markets are cancelled.
Yes, delivery of parcels by a courier is still possible.
Cash payments are allowed, but we encourage people to pay electronically. Not because cash is a source of contagion, but because electronic payments enable you to maintain a distance of 1.5 metres.
Do you not wish to or are you unable to pay electronically? Then use the following method to pay cash safely:
- Put your money on the counter and step back.
- The shopkeeper then takes the money and puts the change, if any, on the counter.
- The shopkeeper finally steps back so that you can take your change safely.
Banks and post offices are open during normal opening hours. A distance of at least 1.5 metres between people must be maintained. Wearing a face mask is mandatory.
Note: not all banks and post offices have remained open. Check the services provided by your bank or post office.
- You are allowed to do your shopping with a maximum of 2 people.
- Your maximum shopping time is 30 minutes.
- Wear a face mask. This is mandatory.
Work and enterprises
Yes, by emailing to email@example.com or by calling 09 210 10 60. Preferably ask your question by email. Contact by phone is possible on weekdays from 9 am to 12.30 pm and from 2 pm to 4 pm. If we are unable to answer your call right away, do not hesitate to leave a message. We will call you back as soon as possible.
You can also visit the OOG office (by appointment only). Make an appointment by calling +32 9 210 10 60 or online.
Have a look at the extensive overview of all economic support measures.
No. From 30 October, all culture houses have to close, except for libraries.
No. From 30 October, all Ghent museums and historic buildings are closed
Yes you can. The central library De Krook and the neighbourhood libraries are open for lending.
De Krook is open every day between 1 pm and 7 pm (on Saturdays until 6 pm, closed on Sundays), as are the digital community hub Digipunt and the helpdesks. For more information go to https://gent.bibliotheek.be/adres-en-openingsuren.
Due to the coronavirus measures, several limitations and safety regulations remained in place. For instance, it is mandatory to wear a face mask.
- All sports facilities are open according to their usual opening times and closing days.
- Book a Ghent sports facility online
- Hot tubs, steam baths and Turkish baths must remain closed, except for private use.
- Swimming pools are closed.
- Check in advance whether your sports facility is open and whether reservation is required
Due to the coronavirus measures, all public swimming pools are closed. It was therefore decided to extend the validity of swimming season tickets, 11-session tickets and swimming voucherswith at least the duration of the closure of the swimming pools.
You can go to the cash desk at your next swimming session, and the necessary steps will be taken.
- All non-professional adult sports that take place indoor, are nog longer allowed.
- For everyone aged 12 and over, sports will only be allowed outdoors with a group of maximum four.
- For children under 12, indoor sports activities are allowed if it's a part of a sports camp or training course organized by the local government, for (extra) school activities of compulsory education. Spectators are not allowed,except for one person in the household or a companion for a G-athlete.
- Otherwise, the activities must take place outdoors.
- Professional sports are still allowed, but without public.
- Spectators are no longer aloud at professional sports competitions.
- Amateur sports competations for participants aged 13 or older are no longer allowed.
- Amateur sports competations for participants aged 12 or younger are still alowed, but only 1 family member can attend as a spectactor, when wearing a face mask.
- You must observe the applicable protocol.
No, but keep the following in mind:
- Anyone over 12 years old is required to cover their nose and mouth in public buildings. These include the public areas of sports facilities such as corridors, entrance halls and toilets. You do not have to wear a face mask during the sports activity.
- Children younger than 12 do not have to wear a face mask and are not part of a social group (within the scope of coronavirus).
- The City of Ghent imposes wearing a face mask in the entire walking-shopping area as well as in a few busy streets outside this area. This obligation applies to anyone over 12 years old who is not inside a vehicle (i.e. cyclists, pedestrians, joggers and people on a kick scooter).
All swimming pools are closed since 29 October until further notice.
- The number of visitors to the swimming pond, Krekenplas and the skate park is limited. Reservation is mandatory
- As a general rule, the City of Ghent imposes wearing a face mask in the Blaarmeersen sports and recreational park and the Blaarmeersen skate park. An exception is made for those who engage in sports on a marked sports field and who go to the water within a radius of 100 metres. Consequently, joggers, cyclists, skaters, walkers, people going to their sports field, etc. have to wear a face mask, but those who sit down do not.
- Only shops that sell essential goods are open.
- Masks are mandatory in shops as well as in busy streets, at markets and in public buildings.
- Shop alone or in pairs.
- Keep your visit to a shop short and avoid long queues
Our parks and nature reserves will remain open. Group meetings have been limited to a maximum of 4 people since October 9, excluding children up to the age of 12. It is important to keep a reasonable distance.
On 27 May, the City of Ghent reopened its outdoor playgrounds for children up to 12 years of age. A maximum of 20 children at a time are allowed on large playgrounds. In addition, supervision by an adult accompanying the children is mandatory. Each playground features an information panel with guidelines.
Picnics in public are allowed . Your group should be limited to a maximum of 4 people, not including children up to 12 years old.
- Youth activitities for children older than 12 or no longer allowed.
- Overnight stays are prohibited.
- Outdoor playgrounds and sports fields remain open.
Please contact the youth organisation for more information.
Yes, both dog toilet areas and dog parks continue to be accessible. The toilet areas are regularly emptied and cleaned.
- Mass events are still prohibited.
- Events with a maximum number of attendants are permitted within Ghent’s territory: 200 people indoors when the 1,5 meter distance can be guaranteed. If not, maximum 40 people can attend.
- Outdoors, maximum 400 people are allowed.
- Private gatherings are limited to 4 of the same people every two weeks.
Face masks are mandatory for all events and for anyone aged 12 and over.
Housing and renovations
All Woonwijzer housing consultancy services are closed and contact days no longer take place. House visits are only possible in emergency situations. Please ask for advice over the phone. In required, you can make an appointment at AC Zuid on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday or Friday morning. Call +32 9 266 76 40 or +32 9 266 76 14.
Nature and environment
For cockroaches and rats, you can contact the Parks & Gardens department. The pest control division can be contacted by phone on workdays between 8 am and 1 pm at +32 9 323 66 66.
In case of house visits, we ask you to ventilate your home sufficiently prior to the appointment, maintain sufficient distance and wait in another room. If employees of the City of Ghent are under the impression that the residents are ill, then they cannot enter the building.
Yes you can. Cemeteries remain accessible to the public.
Has a funeral been planned? A maximum of 40 people are allowed to attend, with respect for social distancing. Families are explicitly requested to keep their distance from the staff of the undertaker and the City of Ghent. You must wear a face mask at funerals, including outdoors. Memorial ceremonies will be organised at a later point in time.
The office at the Westerbegraafplaats cemetery is open on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 1.30 pm to 4 pm.
Do you have an urgent question?
- Email to firstname.lastname@example.org
- Or call Gentinfo at +32 9 210 10 10
Yes, the Parks & Gardens department has resumed its activity at full capacity. They take into account the coronavirus measures during their work.
If you have any questions about the maintenance of green spaces, please contact the Parks & Gardens department by emailing to email@example.com or by calling +32 9 323 66 00 (you can leave a message and we will call you back as soon as possible).
Yes they will. The police will permanently perform checks to ensure strict compliance with the measures. Fines and closures can be immediately imposed in case of non-compliance. We are counting on everyone’s common sense and sense of duty.
The front desks are closed, except for 2 large police offices that are open by day:
- Ghent General Police Centre (Ekkergem)
- Ghent Centre Police Station
These two front desks are also closed between 4.30 pm and 8 am.
We ask you to postpone reporting any non-urgent matters.
Some non-urgent matters can be reported via Police-On-Web. Examples include bicycle theft, shoplifting, vandalism and graffiti.
In case of need, you can always call the emergency number 101 or 112.
If you have noticed that a shop, restaurant or bar does not comply with the measures imposed by the authorities yet remains open, then report this by calling +32 9 266 61 11 or by emailing to firstname.lastname@example.org.
- General information on COVID-19
- Current nationwide measures and FAQ
- Tips to protect yourself and your family
- Taking care of yourself and your emotions
- Belgian measures in several other languages
General information number: 0800 14 689
From outside Belgium: :+32 78151771 (Opening hours: from 9 a.m to 5 p.m (Monday - Friday)