“Return to work on Monday and infect colleagues. Who wants this on their conscience? “

Earlier this week great confusion surrounded what exactly would happen to holidaymakers returning to Belgium from a zone designated red by the Belgian foreign ministry and who failed to get the mandatory corona test.  There were reports that a computer system that would allow these individuals to be tracked down would only be up and running during the first days of September. Up to half of all “red holidaymakers” fail to get tested and reportedly escaped any fine.

Since 1 August anybody travelling to Belgium for a stay in excess of 48 hours or returning after a similar stay abroad is bound to fill in and return the Belgian Passenger Location form.

At the weekend Flemish health minister Wouter Beke (Flemish Christian democrat) visited the corona triage centre in Beringen (Limburg). This is a local testing centre that serves eight municipalities and relieves the pressure on the local hospital. 

The centre housed in several containers is mainly intended to help test people returning from red and amber areas abroad.  Corona tests are either mandatory or highly recommended for these returning holidaymakers. 

Mr Beke recognises that the authorities are to a high degree counting on people’s goodwill, but added: “Return to work from holiday from a risk zone on Monday and infect colleagues. Who wants this on their conscience? “

The health minister promised a more forthright approach.  Starting this week people returning from risk areas will receive a text to be followed by a call from contact tracers, if they don’t respond.  “Risk behaviour will be sanctioned” Mr Beke added.

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