Any resident in Belgium over 12 years old can now request their free railpass granted as part of the measures related to the coronavirus, SNCB and the Minister of Mobility François Bellot reported on Monday. Those interested have until September 30 to do so, via the hello-belgium.be site. The ticket, comprising 12 trips, can then be used for six months, from October 5 until March 31, at the rate of two trips per month.
The measure was decided in early June, at the time of the special powers. The objective is to encourage local tourism in a period of deconfinement and taking into account the economic difficulties of tourism stakeholders. It allows you to travel to 500 destinations across the country. However, its entry into force had to be postponed after the summer because of the health situation. “Of course, we will follow very closely the evolution of the epidemiological situation”, assures Minister Bellot.
Ordered online, sent by post
Interested persons aged over 12 can apply online on the hello-belgium.be site, younger children traveling free of charge when accompanied. Applications for children who turn 12 before the end of March 2021 must also be submitted by September 30 at the latest.
The card is only available in paper version and is sent exclusively by post to the address listed in the national register. It will then be received by post within 8 to 10 days from the date of the request.
In order to benefit as many people as possible, a specific communication will be sent to all the municipalities and CPAS.
Valid from October to March
The 12-journey railpass is nominative and valid for six months. It can be used from Monday October 5 until Wednesday March 31 next and allows you to make two trips per month, during the week from 9 a.m. and at any time during the weekend. It is valid on all SNCB trains on the entire Belgian rail network.
Passengers must complete the document before boarding the train and show it to the attendant along with their identity card.
Anyone who does not have access to the online form can request assistance by telephone (02 / 300.15.15), every day from 7 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. On the other hand, the multi-trip card cannot be requested at the counters, nor can it be withdrawn there, warns SNCB.
An app to check the occupancy rate
Its use over six months should allow a maximum spread of travelers over time, which should best guarantee their health security as well as that of SNCB staff, hopes the railway company. An application indicating train occupancy in real time via different color codes should also be available in mid-September.
Wearing a mask as soon as you enter the station, on the platforms and throughout the train journey is compulsory for all travelers from 12 years old, recalls the SNCB.