Brussels ponders ways to enforce mandatory coronavirus quarantines
Share article:
Share article:

Brussels ponders ways to enforce mandatory coronavirus quarantines

© Belga

Officials in Brussels are working on rolling out a system to enable the monitoring of residents at risk of having become infected with the new coronavirus (Covid-19).

Mandatory quarantines apply to residents who have returned from a red or high-risk travel destination as well as to people who have been in contact with a positive Covid-19 case.

Since the implementation of the colour-coded travel destination system, officials have been working on fine-tuning the contact-tracing procedures.

Until last weekend, returning travellers were called by a contact tracer who explained the steps they had to take, including how to get tested.

Related News:


“Since Monday, they receive an SMS with a QR code which they have to scan at a test centre,” says Inge Neven of the capital region’s Health Inspectorate. “In addition, they also immediately receive a certificate to go into self-isolation which they can use, for example, for work.”

But health authorities in Brussels so far have no means of enforcing or checking in on whether residents are effectively isolating, Neven told Bruzz.

“We are working with local authorities to see whether we should be going a step further and introduce field checks,” she said. “But we have to find a way to do so while keeping in line with the existing legal framework. Municipal authorities are currently receiving per-district information, not about individual patients — no decisions have been made yet about those types of controls.”

In Flanders, regional authorities said last week that they were relying on local governments to check in on mandatory quarantines, pointing in particular to the PCSW/CPAS welfare offices.

But the centres refused the task saying that their workload was already high enough and that such a mission risked “damaging their relationship of trust with local residents,” leaving the Flemish quarantine-enforcement strategy up in the air.

Residents subject to a mandatory quarantine are only allowed to leave their homes for essential trips, such as going to the doctor, to the pharmacy or to shop for groceries.

Gabriela Galindo
The Brussels Times

Latest news

Thousands march in Brussels to raise awareness of violence against women
More than 3,000 people took to the streets of Brussels on Sunday afternoon for a national march to raise awareness of violence against women in ...
Efficacy of vaccines against new variant known in a few weeks, virologist says
The efficacy of the current coronavirus vaccines against the new Omicron variant will be clear in one to two weeks, Belgian virologist Marc Van Ranst ...
Scientists could have communicated better during pandemic, survey shows
The majority of Flemish people continue to trust scientists, however, only half of them feel scientists communicated understandably during the ...
Closing borders and new travel restrictions: Countries react to Omicron variant
As more cases of the new Omicron variant of the coronavirus are being reported across the world, more and more countries are imposing tougher travel ...
Several rush hour train services to be scrapped from Monday
Up to ten peak time trains to and from Brussels will be temporarily cancelled starting from Monday, Belgian railway company SNCB announced this ...
Europe’s largest vintage clothes store is in Ghent this weekend
Europe's largest pop-up store for second-hand clothes is once again setting up shop in Ghent on Sunday, offering more than five tonnes of vintage ...
Animal welfare in EU’s pig meat sector: What’s wrong?
EU has put into place legislation to ensure that animal welfare conditions are respected in its agricultural policy but the breaches of its ...
‘Not feasible’: Doctors refuse to follow new testing strategy
Doctors have warned they will not follow the government's adapted testing strategy which would see vaccinated people who were in close contact with a ...
Flanders introduces ‘invisible’ speed cameras
New digital speed cameras that are essentially invisible to the road user are being introduced on various roads and motorways in Flanders, Flemish ...
Warnings issued for slippery roads across Belgium
Drivers have been asked to watch out for slippery roads from Saturday afternoon until Sunday evening, as snow and cold temperatures are expected ...
Testing rules following high-risk contact eased for vaccinated people
The coronavirus testing policy following a high-risk contact has been eased, meaning a vaccinated person who was in contact with an infected person ...
New measures announced for Belgian schools
Stricter rules are being implemented across a variety of sectors in Belgium to curb the rising number of infections and limit the damage as a result ...