Nicolas Maeterlinck

Fines for those failing to get tested on their return from a Red Zone country

From 1 April at the latest anyone returning from a country or area of a country that is coloured red on the coronavirus infection rate map that fails to get tested on their return will face a fine. The announcement was made by the Federal Health Minister Frank Vandenbroucke (Flemish socialist) at the press conference that followed Friday’s meeting of the Consultative Committee. “From 1 April, before the Easter holidays, the police will be able to directly access the information (on those that have returned from a Red Zone area”, the Health Minister said. 

A ban on non-essential foreign travel remains in force until 1 March. After Friday’s meeting no mention was made on any plans to extend the ban. However, the Consultative Committee will meet again in two weeks’ time and any decision on extending the travel ban is likely to come then. Under the rules currently in force those returning from a Red Zone area are obliged to take a coronavirus test on the day of their return and 7 days later.

However, there have been issues with enforcement. Issues that the authorities now wish to address.  Mr Vandenbroucke stressed the importance of testing in protecting the population from coronavirus. He added that the leaders of the regional governments (the regions are responsible for testing) have undertaken that the details of those that have failed to take a coronavirus will be accessible to the police from 1 April at the very latest. Those failing to take a test risk a fine of 250 euro.

The Federal Justice Minister Vincent Van Quickenborne (Flemish liberal) says that he is pleased that with the clear undertaking. He added that the necessary measures will be taken to facilitate the exchange of personal date on those that need to be tested and/or should be quarantining.



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