All people returning to Belgium from a red travel zone will again be required to quarantine during the end-of-year period, according to Karine Moykens, head of the Interfederal Testing & Tracing Committee.
"From 18 December, all travellers will still have to fill in the Passenger Locator Form (PLF), but people coming from a red zone will also be required to go into quarantine for ten days, with a test on day seven," Moykens said on Flemish radio on Monday afternoon. "If the test is negative, you can leave quarantine."
In recent months, whether or not travellers returning from red zones had to quarantine depended on how much risk of getting infected they had run abroad.
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Anyone who had spent more than 48 hours abroad was obliged to fill in the PLF, which requires travellers to answer questions about exactly what they did while abroad.
The risk was then automatically determined based on that form, and travellers received a text message telling them if they had to quarantine or not. However, this will change again now, according to Moykens.
On Monday morning, Moykens already said that from 18 December, Belgium would start checking if returning travellers are actually quarantining upon return, but she did not clarify that the quarantine would become mandatory for everyone, not only those considered at-risk.
“From 18 December, we will actually check [if people follow the rules],” Moykens said. “This may not have been the case in August, but it is now. We have the staff for it.”
Currently, almost the whole of Europe is a red zone, meaning that travelling without quarantining and/or getting tested will be almost impossible this Christmas.
The Brussels Times