Quick-result Covid-19 tests initially not available at Brussels Airport

Quick-result Covid-19 tests initially not available at Brussels Airport
Credit: Belga

Rapid tests, which give departing travellers a result within three hours, will not be available in Brussels Airport's mobile coronavirus testing lab before the end of September.

"We will start with the test centre soon, but the accompanying lab will arrive at the end of September, as not everything is ready yet," Nathalie Pierard, a Brussels Airport spokesperson, told The Brussels Times.

This means that, during the first few weeks after the centre opens, the swabs will be sent to another lab first, making the three-hour time frame not possible.

The rapid tests, which cost €135 and are not reimbursed by social security, are for travellers who are flying to areas that require a negative test, but forgot to get tested in advance, among others, Pierard explained.

Until the rapid test is possible, travellers will only be able to get the standard test, which costs €67. This test will continue to be available after the rapid test rolls out.

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From the end of September, however, the testing lab will be on-site in the airport and travellers can have a quick result. Until then, only regular tests can be carried out, which deliver a result within nine hours - which is still faster than in many other centres, and even other European airports, according to Pierard.

"Travellers who require a negative test before flying can of course still come to the airport for them, but they will have to wait longer for the result," she said.

For people who have received a code, or are returning from a red travel zone, such a test costs €46.81, and will be reimbursed by their social security agency. People returning from an orange zone, and others who have not received a code, will also pay the standard fee of €67.

Additionally, the airport testing centre will not only be opened to people who are travelling, but to others with a text message code as well.

"People with symptoms cannot be tested here, however. They will have to go to the hospital, or to the centres that are made for symptomatic people," Pierard added.

Maïthé Chini

The Brussels Times

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