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Belgium

Belgium is a highly developed and stable democracy with a modern economy. Tourist facilities are widely available. Read the Department of State Background Notes on Belgium for additional information.

Belgium

   
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 COUNTRY OVERVIEW
Country Name: Belgium
Continent: Europe
Capital City: Brussels
Boundary Countries:

France, Germany, Luxembourg, Netherlands

Recommended Hospitals in Capital:

Centre Hospitalier Johimont-Lobbes (Haine-Saint-Paul)
Brugmann University Hospital - Paul Brien, Rene Magritte, Victor Horta (Brussels), Clinique Fond'Roy (Brussels), Clinique La Ramee (Brussels)

Main Cities:

Brussels, Antwerp, Hasselt, Aalst, Mons, Bastogne

Country Size: 30,528 sq km
Population: 10,348,276

 

COUNTRY GENERAL INFORMATION
Language:

Dutch (official) 60%, French (official) 40%, German (official) less than 1%, legally bilingual (Dutch and French)

Currency: Euro (EUR)
Predominant Religions:

Roman Catholic 75%, Protestant or other 25%

National Holidays: 21 July (1831), ascension to the Throne of King Leopold I
Economic Status:

Belgium is a highly developed and stable democracy with a modern economy. This modern, private-enterprise economy has capitalized on its central geographic location, highly developed transport network, and diversified industrial and commercial base. Industry is concentrated mainly in the populous Flemish area in the north.

Security:

Army, Naval, and Air Operations Commands

US Presence:

U.S. Embassy Brussels, Belgium
27 Boulevard du Régent (the Consular Section is at 25 Boulevard du Régent)
B-1000 Brussels
Telephone: 011-32-2-811-4000 (available 24/7)
Consular Section Fax: 011-32-2-811-4546

Document Requirements:

Belgium is a party to the Schengen agreement. As such, US citizens may enter Belgium for up to 90 days for tourist or business purposes without a visa. The passport should be valid for at least three months beyond the period of stay. Sufficient funds and a return airline ticket are required. For further details about travel into and within Schengen countries, please see our Schengen fact sheet. For further information concerning entry requirements, contact the Embassy of Belgium at 3330 Garfield Street NW, Washington, DC 20008, telephone (202) 333-6900; or one of the Belgian Consulates General in Atlanta, Los Angeles, or New York. Visit the Embassy of Belgium website for the most current visa information.

Information about dual nationality or the prevention of international child abduction can be found on our website.  For further information about customs regulations, please read our Customs Information Sheet.

Major Airports:

Airports: 43;  Airports with paved runways: 27

Brussels, Int´l Airport, Belgium, The Brussels Airport Company NV/SA, Brussels Airport NT 5, Zaventem, B-1930, BELGIUM
Tel: +32 (0)2 753.42.00, +32 (0)2 753.43.23
Fax: +32 (0)2 753.42.50, +32 (0)2 753.41.22
Email: philippe.fierens@brusselairport.be
Website: www.brusselsairport.be
Customs Tel: +32 (0)2 753.48.50
Fax: +32 (0)2 751.60.19
Customs Hours:24 hours

Servicing Airlines:
Risks and Precautions:

Belgium remains largely free of terrorist incidents. Belgian law enforcement and security officials, in close cooperation with neighboring countries, maintain a solid anti-terrorism effort and a peaceful environment for tourists and business. Belgium remains a relatively safe country; however, visitors should take all reasonable precautions because street theft, purse snatching, and pick pocketing occurs frequently, particularly in the major cities and in train stations.

Mortality Statistics:

Infant MR total:  4.76 deaths/1,000 live births
Life expectancy at birth:  Total 78.44yrs. (male 75.26 / female 81.75)

Immunization Indicators:

Required: None
Recommended: Hep A & B, tetanus-diptheria booster

Infectious Disease Concerns:

Tickborne encephalitis (TBE) occurs in warmer months in the southern part of the nontropical forested regions of Europe.
Leishmaniasis (cutaneous and visceral) is found, especially in countries bordering the Mediterranean, with the highest number of cases from Spain, where it is an important opportunistic infection in HIV-infected persons.
Variant Creutzfeldt-Jacob cases have been reported primarily from the United Kingdom, although a few cases have been reported from other countries in Western Europe. Large outbreaks of trichinosis have occurred; outbreaks in France have been linked to horse meat.

Overall Quality of Medical Services:

Good medical facilities with modern diagnostic equipment and well-trained physicians are widely available in Belgium. The large university hospitals can provide adequate care for complex medical problems. Hospitals in Brussels and Flemish-speaking Flanders will probably have English-speaking staff; however, hospitals in French-speaking Wallonia may not have staff members who are fluent in English.

Providers in Network:
Direct Payment: 15
Referrals: 119
View Network Providers
Recent Medical Threats/ Concerns/Warnings:

Measles outbreaks occurred in several European countries in 2006.
Risk of hepatitis A is low, although sporadic outbreaks have occurred in developed countries.
Highly pathogenic avian influenza virus H5N1 has been documented in wild birds or other avian species in several of the countries in Europe. For a current list of countries reporting outbreaks of H5N1 among poultry and/or wild birds, view updates from the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE).

Communications Info:

Country Calling Code:  +32
Internet Country Code:  .be

 



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