- Reviewed: 31 August 2017, 10:10 NZST
- Still current at: 22 September 2018
Exercise increased caution
Exercise increased caution in Belgium due to the heightened and ongoing threat of terrorism.View Larger Map Close/Open map
Belgian soldiers and police have been repeatedly targeted by terrorist linked individuals. Most recently, on 25 August 2017 a man attacked two soldiers with a knife in Brussels before being killed by security forces. On 20 June 2017, there was an attempted suicide attack at Brussels Central train station which was contained by Belgium military personnel patrolling the area.
On 22 March 2016, two explosions occurred at Zaventem International Airport in Brussels and a further explosion occurred at Maelbeek metro station killing 35 people and injuring over 300. Enhanced security measures have been put in place throughout the country, including at international airports, on public transport and at train stations.
New Zealanders currently in Belgium are advised to keep themselves informed of potential risks to safety and security by monitoring the media and other local information sources. We recommend following any instructions issued by the local authorities. New Zealanders should exercise a high degree of vigilance in public places – particularly at tourist sites, shopping areas, large public gatherings, transport hubs and on public transport.
The Belgian authorities currently assess the domestic threat level for Belgium at Level 2 out of 4 - indicating an average risk of terrorist attack. Authorities encourage people to remain vigilant and aware of their surroundings at all times. Police raids in the Brussels region and around Belgium remain common as authorities arrest individuals for terrorism-related offences. Further security operations are likely. If you are in an affected area you should follow the instructions of the Belgian security authorities. Police have asked the public not to comment on security operations via social media.
Terrorist groups, including those based in Syria and Iraq, continue to make threats to conduct attacks in Belgium and across Europe. There is also a threat from domestic-based extremists, including plots that may involve foreign fighters returning to Belgium and Europe from the conflicts in Syria and Iraq. Brussels hosts a number of international institutions, including the European Union and NATO, which are sensitive locations and could be targeted by terrorists.
Demonstrations and protests occur from time to time in Belgium. New Zealanders are advised to avoid all protests as they can occasionally turn violent.
General travel advice
New Zealanders travelling or living in Belgium should have a comprehensive travel insurance policy in place.
New Zealanders in Belgium are encouraged to register their details with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade.
The New Zealand Embassy Brussels, Belgium
Street Address Avenue des Nerviens 9/31, B-1040 Brussels, Belgium. Telephone +32 2 512 1040 Fax +32 2 513 4856 Email firstname.lastname@example.org Web Site http://www.mfat.govt.nz/belgium Hours Mon-Fri 0900-1300 hrs, 1400-1700 hrs
See our regional advice for Europe