Anyone returning from a red zone abroad must go into quarantine for one week from tomorrow and have themselves tested twice. This test must be taken on day 1 and on day 7 after return. The Consultation Committee has just decided that. In doing so, they follow the advice the experts had drawn up yesterday. The new rules will remain in effect until January 15th.
Lately there has been a lot to do about the many Belgians who have moved abroad during the Christmas holidays. Since Belgium is currently one of the better students in Europe in terms of corona rates, many experts fear that we will re-enter the virus here after the holidays.
After the expert group GEMS had written an advice for the government yesterday, it decided today to hold an electronic Consultation Committee on the situation.
“Avoid importing virus”
It was then decided that those who have been in a red zone for more than 48 hours must be quarantined for one week upon return. Until now, you only had to fill in your Passenger Locator Form and then possibly received a message that you had to be quarantined. Whether or not that was the case depended on your behavior on the spot.
Travelers returning must also undergo two mandatory corona tests: one day after their return and seven day after. “The test on day one is something new. We see that the numbers in our country are falling well, but in most neighboring countries the numbers are rising and there is also a mutation of the virus that appears to be very dangerous. The situation in our country is reasonably good and we will do everything we can to avoid importing the virus ”, Prime Minister Alexander De Croo (Open Vld) explains to VRT NWS.
There are some exceptions to the new rules. For example, people who work in essential sectors and who can present a certificate from their employer are allowed out of quarantine. The same applies to those who were abroad for professional reasons with a certificate. Students may also interrupt their quarantine if they have to take an exam.
These exceptions are also the reason why the stricter rules are only now taking effect. Normally these would be in effect on December 18 as had been leaked too early. However, several sectors then objected, so that the Consultation Committee finally did not introduce them two weeks ago.
Finally, additional checks will also be made for those returning from abroad. For example, there will be stricter supervision of the completion of the Passenger Location Form. The negative test that non-residents of Belgium must be able to present will also be better controlled.