'More will follow': already 67 Belgian youths infected after party vacation

'More will follow': already 67 Belgian youths infected after party vacation

67 youths from the West Flanders province have tested positive for the coronavirus after a party vacation in Portugal at the start of September, and more infections are likely to follow, according to provincial governor Carl Decaluwé.

After a Summer Bash camp, which organised group holidays for young people, in the Algarve region in Portugal, at least 67 people, all between 18 and 23 years old, were infected.

Additionally, several groups of people who did not go to the region with Summer Bash but also rented a house there are infected as well, reports Het Laatste Nieuws.

On Tuesday, reports emerged that a group from the municipality of Tielt was infected, followed by at least 10 people from Waregem on Wednesday morning.

"I suspect that they did not follow the measures very closely, and that they partied very hard," said Waregem's mayor Kurt Vanryckeghem, adding that the youths are currently quarantined.

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Governor Decaluwé called on everyone, and especially youths, coming back from the area to strictly follow the quarantine measures, but he expects that "more infections will follow."

Summer Bash organiser Jordy S'Jongers told VRT that he was shocked. "We organise everything for them. Flight, transport, accommodation and excursions," he said. "We work corona-proof, we also worked in bubbles. All summer long, it worked with more than 1,000 young people. Until now."

S'Jongers called on all young people who were in Albufeira between 2 and 12 September, even those who did not go there with their organisation, to isolate themselves in their homes.

"Go into quarantine, even if you have tested negative. I fear that one-third of our people will be infected. And it will likely be even more, because there were also many young people who were not there with us."

Maïthé Chini

The Brussels Times

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