Over the past few days, between 6,000 and 10,000 rapid tests have been carried out in Belgian pharmacies per day, according to figures by the General Pharmaceutical Association (APB).
Since Monday 12 July, more than 1,000 pharmacies in Belgium are also carrying out rapid antigen tests.
"These rapid tests offer travellers a reliable and fast result," said spokesperson Luc De Seranno. "In this way, the workload of the test centres, general practitioners and laboratories is eased."
Up until Sunday, 951,633 registered self-tests had also been sold in pharmacies, according to the APB.
The pharmacists who offer the rapid antigen test – which, like a PCR test, requires a deep nasal swab – have received special training for this.
It takes about 15 minutes before the result of the test is known, and it is officially registered through the health institute Sciensano. The result then appears a few hours later on the Covid test certificate, which people can consult via the government’s CovidSafeBE app.
While such a test result is accepted in several European countries as an alternative to the PCR test, the APB urges departing travellers to carefully check if and under what conditions the test is accepted.
For this rapid antigen test, no maximum price was set by the government and it is not refundable. It will cost between €25 and €30 per test.