Rapid test at entrance of venues is (usually) invalid, says Vandenbroucke

Rapid test at entrance of venues is (usually) invalid, says Vandenbroucke
Credit: Belga

Just undergoing a rapid antigen test at the entrance of a venue that requires a Covid Safe Ticket (CST) to get in is usually not allowed, says the cabinet of Federal Health Minister Frank Vandenbroucke.

Those who are not vaccinated against Covid-19 and do not have a valid recovery certificate must be able to present a recent negative test result in all bars, restaurants and gyms in Belgium, as well as at most events.

While some establishments and venues offer "Covid test centres" at the entrance to allow their customers to get in, there are some conditions that have to be met before a result is valid, Vandenbroucke's cabinet stressed.

"It is the Covid Safe Ticket or nothing," Arne Brinckman, spokesperson for Vandenbroucke, told RTBF. "That means that every test must be registered and sent to the doctor. There must be a record of it."

In practice, this means that a rapid antigen test without a QR code is not considered official, and will not be accepted in establishments that require a CST to enter.

If the result is not registered on the authorities' platform, the negative test is inadmissible. Only when the QR code is generated in the CovidSafeBE app is someone allowed in.

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Additionally, once the test has been carried out, the person who was tested must remain on-site while waiting for the registration on the test platform and the generation of a valid test certificate if they want to access the event.

Official test certificates remain valid for up to 48 hours (PCR test) or 24 hours (rapid antigen test administered and recorded by medical staff) after the date of the test.

People who are caught trying to get in with a fake code or without one at all risk fines from €50 to €500. Organisers allowing people inside without a valid code risk fines of up to €2,500.

Getting tested for Covid is possible with your GP (usually only by appointment), in testing centres, in a lab (with a medical prescription) or at a pharmacy.

Many pharmacies administer rapid antigen tests. The result of these tests is known within 15 minutes, and then officially registered online by the pharmacist in an online form, which will generate the CST.

Self-tests bought in pharmacies are not accepted for CSTs, as they only give an indication for the person who used it, but they do not give access to any event.

Additionally, to avoid misunderstanding, it is always possible to ask the person in charge of the tests outside a venue if the result generates a CST.

More information on where a CST is required in Flanders, Wallonia and the Brussels-Capital Region, as well as how to get one, can be found here.

More information on how to obtain Belgium's CST when you are a non-European resident can be found here.

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