Travel News

Is it safe to travel to Brussels after fatal shooting?


Following the fatal shooting of two people in Brussels on 16 October, the Foreign Office (FCDO) has updated its advice for travel to Belgium.

Two Swedish football fans were killed in the Belgian capital after a gunman opened fire in the city centre on Monday night.

The suspected perpetrator, a 45-year-old Tunisian man, has since passed away in hospital after being shot by police in a cafe on Tuesday.

Authorities confirmed the suspect had died and have told POLITICO more information will be released “within an hour”.

The shooting took place on Boulevard d’Ypres in central Brussels. But is it still safe to travel to Brussels and what should you do if you’re already in the city? Here’s what we know so far.

What is the Foreign Office advice?

The FCDO put the Brussels-Capital Region at “threat level 4 of 4: avoid all non-essential travel” following the attack. The advice reads: “Avoid the area and follow the advice of local authorities” and “This is a developing situation – follow the advice of local authorities.”

The suspected attacker is no longer at large, but the FCDO is yet to update this advice.

Is travel to Brussels affected?

Travel seems to be going ahead as normal. All Eurostar services from London to Brussels Midi / Zuid are running on time on 17 October, other than one early morning train (7.04am) that was cancelled.

Brussels Airlines and British Airways have been operating flights as usual today from London Heathrow, with some minor (and unrelated) delays to scheduled arrival times.

Am I still safe to travel to Brussels?

The shooting currently appears to be an isolated incident, and the suspected culprit is no longer at large. However, governments are still advising their citizens to exercise caution while in Brussels.

The Canadian government is advising travellers to “avoid public places; follow the instructions of local authorities; expect heightened security measures and an increased police presence.”

The Swedish government called on the country’s citizens abroad to be cautious.

“The threat picture against Sweden and Swedish interests abroad was already heightened,” it said on its website.

“Due to the fact two Swedes were killed in Brussels in a suspected terrorist act, Swedes abroad are urged to observe increased caution and increased vigilance and to follow local authorities’ advice.”


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