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Health minister: “Returnees must get tested!”

Belgian health minister Maggie De Block is urgently asking people returning from the area of Catalonia affected by the new coronavirus lockdown to get tested when they return home.

The lockdown is centred on the city of Lleida (Lerida) and its immediate surroundings. Ms De Block has given instructions that will allow people returning from the area by car to get tested by their GP.

“Until the result is known, they must avoid contacts and stay indoors.  It’s essential.  People returning by plane will receive advice at the airport”.

“At present there is no legal base to impose a quarantine in Belgium” says the minister, but adds “we must make sure we don’t run the same risk again.  There is a shared responsibility. In the stricken area the virus has got a lot of oxygen.  It’s dangerous, if we import it here again.  If you test positive, you can infect others and must follow the regular quarantine rules.”

Belgian health minister De Block adds that people going away on holiday should realise the situation can change at any minute: “They should take responsibility and decide for themselves whether it is safe enough!”

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