Only 7% of passengers who returned from high-risk travel zones in October and who filled a mandatory return form online got tested for Covid-19 upon their return, Flemish Health Minister Wouter Beke said.
Beke revealed the figure as he took questions from lawmakers in the Flemish parliament, and also noted that the number of people who had effectively filled out the mandatory form had plummeted since the summer.
The drop in the number of red-zone returnees who got tested upon their return coincided with the release of a “self-assessment tool” which issued recommendations to passengers on whether or not to get tested depending on the risk taken.
The number of people who had effectively filled out the mandatory form had plummeted since the summer, dipping below the 100,000 mark.
In August, 187,527 travellers coming back from a medium-risk orange zone and 29,421 red-zone returnees filled out the form.
The Passenger Locator Form was released by authorities in July an effort to keep track of high-risk traveller flows as travel inside the EU resumed.
In August, 72% of passengers who returned from a red zone took a Covid-19 test, with the figures showing that there was a positivity rate among them of 5%.
In October, while only 7% of passengers got tested, the positivity rate barely changed, dipping to 4.3%, according to 7sur7.
The dip in the number of tests taken in October also coincides with a decision by federal authorities to suspend testing for asymptomatic people, in an effort to help labs buckling under the pressure of a massive influx of tests as people returned from summer holidays and went back to work and school.