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You can have a rapid Covid test taken at the pharmacy as from today

From today, it is possible to have yourself tested for Covid-19 in about one thousand pharmacies across Belgium. You will learn about the result in about 15 minutes.

About one in four pharmacies in Belgium are offering the possibility to have a rapid corona test taken as from today. The so-called rapid lateral flow test is carried out more or less like a classic PCR test - a long cotton bud (swab) is put inside your nose. The big difference is that you know the result in about 15 minutes, like a pregnancy test. For the classic PCR test, which is being examined in a lab, this usually takes 24 to 48 hours. 

If you test positive, you can be almost 100 percent sure you have contracted Covid. If you test negative, you 'probably' have no corona infection. A false negative test mostly occurs when you have just caught coronavirus a couple of days ago, before the first symptoms occur.

However, various countries will accept a negative rapid test result if you want to go abroad on holiday, especially in southern Europe. Countries like France and Italy will give you the green light, and the rapid test is also accepted to take part in major events in Belgium. A classic PCR test is accepted everywhere. 

A rapid test at the chemist's will set you back between 25 and 30 euros. The result will be transmitted to the health institute Sciensano and will appear on the CovidSafeBE application within a couple of hours' time. 

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