Youth travel organisation Summer Bash has decided to immediately bring all 350 young people currently on holiday in Spain back to Belgium, after many of them already tested positive for Covid-19.
When a group of young people turned out to be infected earlier this week, the organisation first decided to suspend all trips that still had to depart, but has now also decided to bring all travellers already abroad back to Belgium early.
"There are already 24 young people who have tested positive for Covid, we do not want to take any risks," Summer Bash spokesperson Jordy S’Jongers told De Morgen, explaining that it concerns 350 young people who booked a holiday in one of the party destinations, such as Lloret de Mar.
"We are going to reimburse them for the part of their holiday that they miss because of this," he added.
During a large-scale testing moment at the destinations on Tuesday, 13 out of 228 young people were found to be infected, and additional spot checks in the meantime have found 11 more infections.
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"Those results in themselves are not okay, but we mainly make this decision based on what we hear from other organisations," said S’Jongers.
"There, up to 80% of young people are said to have become infected," he said. "We do not want to take any risks. We are currently organising the return of those 350 young people."
Summer Bash sent extra buses from Belgium to Spain to collect them, aiming to separate positive and negative cases on the return journey by using more buses.
Additionally, all passengers will be tested again before departure.
While waiting for the buses, all of the organisation's excursions in Spain have been cancelled, and Summer Bash also asked its travellers not to go out on the last night but to stay in their rooms. Once back in Belgium, they will have to go into quarantine and be tested again.
For the time being, Summer Bash is not organising any more trips to Spain, but all other destinations are still possible.
Additionally, another youth travel organisation, Jongerentravel, announced on Tuesday morning that it was cancelling all departures to Spain, until at least the end of July, due to the rapidly rising infection rate in the country.
“Many tears are flowing from the hundreds of young people we have to let know that we are cancelling their trip,” Katrien Corens of Jongerentravel told Het Nieuwsblad. “We do not want to contribute to new sources of infection.”