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Belgian youngsters with Covid “hop on the plane” to get home

It has emerged that around a score of youngsters, who tested positive for coronavirus in Spain, while on holiday with a travel agency that caters for young people’s leisure needs, didn’t join the main group returning to Belgium in safe conditions, on segregated coaches, but took a plane to get back together with other passengers.  The Flemish care and health agency is examining whether these youngsters, who travelled by plane on their own initiative, can be punished.

A fine is on the cards.  Joris Moonens of the care agency says their actions were irresponsible: “We are collecting information on what happened and will examine if we can impose any sanction.  It’s intolerable that you consciously put other people in danger.”

Katrien Corens of travel organisation explains that the youngsters’ parents bought plane tickets for them and that they travelled back to Belgium before the main group arrived here in segregated coaches. 

The youngsters had been partying on the Costa Brava. They tested positive at official Spanish test centres, where PCR tests were carried out, but still managed to hop on a plane home. Katrien Corens condemns their actions: “There is something wrong with the system.  After you have tested positive you can travel back home by plane from a dark red zone. This is madness.”

Of the whole group two youngsters have already ended up in hospital.

Summer Bash, another travel organisation catering for young people who love the party life, has similar experiences.  Twelve of its holidaymakers too hopped on a plane.  They didn’t take tests despite recent high-risk contacts.  More youngsters intend to fly back tomorrow: two are refusing to get tested. 

“We’ve handed the names to contact tracers to ensure they can’t avoid mandatory quarantine” says Jordy S’Jongers of Summer Bash.


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