Belgium in Brief: €135 Airport Coronvirus Tests Won’t Be Reimbursed
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Belgium in Brief: €135 Airport Coronvirus Tests Won’t Be Reimbursed

Credit: Belga

Expectations that Brussels Airport would soon be offering rapid coronavirus tests with results within 3 hours hit a bit of a snag yesterday, with the news that the €135 one will not be out as soon as expected.

While tests will be available at the airport within September, the on-site facility will not be ready until the end of the month, meaning the first few weeks will see tests taking 9 hours at a lower price point of €67. This less expensive test will continue to be available even after the rapid one rolls out.

Once up and running, the rapid tests, which 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, Brussels Airport spokesperson Nathalie Pierard explained.

For people who have received a code, or are returning from a red travel zone, the 9h 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 pay the standard fee of €67.

So what else is in the news? Belgium’s figures keep rising, EU wide travel rules, and who was Annie Cordy?

Belgium in Brief is a free daily roundup of the top stories to get you through your lunch break conversations. To receive it straight to your inbox every day, sign up below:

1. Over 1,500 reports for ignoring face mask obligation in Brussels since July

Over 1,500 reports were written up in Brussels for people who weren’t wearing a face mask in the last two months, Brussels Mayor Philippe Close said on Monday evening.

“Following the deconfinement and repeal of the Royal Decree of special powers on 1 July last, we have issued a fine on the basis of the legal procedure,” said Close. Read More.

2. Belgian new coronavirus infections rise for third day in a row

An average of 479.4 people per day tested positive for the new coronavirus (Covid-19) in Belgium during the past week, according to the latest figures by Sciensano on Tuesday.

The trend of new infections per day increased by 7% over the 7-day period from 29 August to 4 September. This is the third day in a row that the average number of new confirmed coronavirus infections in Belgium is rising again. Read more.

3. Coronavirus: Flemish governor calls for EU-wide travel risk system

Authorities in Belgium are calling for wider cooperation on coronavirus regulations between EU countries, calling for a common travel risk assessment system.

Belgian towns along the border with France have come forward with concerns over the differences in the colour-coded risk systems between Belgium and France. Read more.

4. Brussels police will receive anti-street harassment training

Brussels police officers have enlisted a feminist non-profit to train officers to handle instances of street harassment and violence against women.

At least two police zones in Brussels have so far scheduled training sessions with the organisation Touche Pas a Ma Pote (TPAMP, Don’t Touch My Friend).

The organisation, which last year launched an application to encourage more women to report instances of sexual harassment, has already held a training session with the Brussels-Ixelles police zone in June. Read more.

5. Free rail pass: Over 1.5 million applications in 1st week

More than 1.5 million people have already applied for a Railpass in the one week since it launched, the Belgian National Railway Company (SNCB) said Monday in a press release.

Despite initial technical problems reported by multiple users, almost 500,000 applications had been registered within the first 24 hours of the scheme, which provides a free 12-journey rail pass. Read more.

6. Facebook briefly deletes Extinction Rebellion Belgium’s page for ‘hate speech’

Facebook took down the ‘Extinction Rebellion Belgium’ page for several days as it considered an event of the climate action group to be promoting hate speech before republishing it on Saturday evening, the organisation said in a press release. Read more.

7. Who was Annie Cordy?

The death of singer and actress Annie Cordy has made headlines across Belgium as tributes poured in from celebrities in Belgium and France alike.

For those who don’t know who she was, here’s a brief look at the singer best known for songs like “Tata Yoyo” and “La bonne du curé”. Read more.

Jules Johnston
The Brussels Times

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