Share article:
Share article:

Over 500 Belgian police officers in Covid-19 quarantine


Over 500 police officers in Belgium have gone into self-isolation due to Covid-19, with unions warning of personnel shortages and demanding police be made a priority testing group.

Figures released by the federal police show that, as of 19 October, 557 officers were in quarantine at home, out of the 1,929 who had gone into self-isolation from early September to mid-October.

Around half (282) of those who remain at home are sick with Covid-19, while the remaining ones are quarantine out of precaution, after close contact with an infected person.

Related News:


The numbers concern both local and federal police officers across Belgium and, according to a police spokesperson, could be an underestimation.

“The figures are partial, in the past week, the number of officers in Covid-19 quarantine has almost doubled,” a spokesperson told Het Nieuwsblad, declining to provide more precise figures.

The spokesperson rose concerns over understaffing if more officers out of the country’s roughly 40,000, were put out of action by the coronavirus.

“It’s clear that Covid-19 has an impact on capacity,” the federal spokesperson said. “We try to do everything we can to maintain the necessary capacity on site.”

Police unions have come out to ask that police officers are part of the professions eligible for priority and preventative testing, echoing calls from Interior Minister Annelies Verlinden.

Following a shift in the country’s testing strategy which restricted testing only to asymptomatic cases, Verlinden sent a request to the premier and to the health ministry requesting that police officers be part of the priority testing groups, which includes health workers.

Gabriela Galindo
The Brussels Times

Latest news

Non-urgent care once again postponed in some hospitals
As the worsening coronavirus situation in Belgium is starting to take its toll on hospitals, it has been confirmed non-urgent care will once again be ...
Brussels Airport warns autumn holidaymakers to arrive early
Passengers leaving from Brussels Airport this autumn have been advised to factor in extra time to account for longer than normal check-in times and ...
27,000 Belgian taxpayers to pay more after incorrect tax break
About 27,000 taxpayers who wrongly received a tax reduction in the last three years due to an error by the tax administration will have to pay what ...
Wallonia launches first major survey for cyclist satisfaction
Following in the footsteps of France and Flanders, the Wallonia Region of Belgium is launching its first major satisfaction survey on municipal ...
After 5 rescues in 2 days, hundreds of migrants take shelter in Italy
After five rescues in less than two days, almost 400 migrants aboard the Geo Barents search and rescue ship in the Central Mediterranean, operated by ...
Belgian wind farm closed down to save migrants floating in sea
A wind farm near Zeebrugge had to be shut down on Wednesday morning as more than 25 migrants had been adrift in its vicinity off the Belgian coast ...
Cinemas will require Covid Safe Ticket from Friday
The Covid Safe Ticket (CST) will be required to attend cinemas across Belgium from Friday, which marks the start of the autumn holidays, the ...
Strong warnings issued ahead of climate change summit
New and updated climate commitments fall far short of what is needed to meet the goals of the Paris Agreement, leaving the world on track for a ...
Disastrous year for Belgian beekeepers
Belgian beekeepers have experienced a disastrous year, with honey production 50 to 60 percent lower than last year due to heavy rainfall during ...
New measures for schools considered as situation becomes ‘untenable’
Belgium's various education partners met on Wednesday to discuss additional measures to implement in schools as the coronavirus situation worsens in ...
Belgium in Brief: Back To Masks
I really hope you didn't throw out all your masks. You'll be needing them again. Now I do appreciate that this isn't a huge change for ...
Belgium a climate slowcoach as EU reveals emissions progress
The European Union is on track to pass its first big climate test, according to new figures published this week. But Belgium has been singled out for ...