Verwendung weltweit

Antigen tests suffice for travel to Belgium from half-term

Belgian health ministers have decided that tourists visiting Belgium or returning to Belgium and who need to get tested will no longer need to take a PCR test for coronavirus.  In future a rapid antigen test that you can get at your chemist will suffice.  Moreover, people who are ill and need to get tested will no longer need to contact their GP first but can go straight to a test centre if necessary.

Antigen tests have the advantage your sample need not be taken to a lab for analysis as is the case for PCR tests, a process that can take up to two days before you get a result. At the chemist you will get the result of an antigen test in a quarter of an hour, though, of course, the result is less reliable than with PCR. PCR tests remain valid for 72 hours, antigen tests only for 48 when foreign travel is involved. People arriving here from other EU countries can take the test the day of their arrival.

The new procedure should apply from the half-term break onwards.

The decision to take GPs out of the loop when deciding on the need for a corona test comes at the request of family doctors, who see their workload increase exponentially as more and more people are coming down with the common cold this autumn. 

People, who are ill, will be able to report symptoms online or via an app. An algorithm will then decide whether you need a corona test or not. People who need a test will receive a code and can visit a test centre or chemist.     

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