Over 40% of Belgium’s red zone returnees skipped a covid test
Sunday, 31 January 2021
Since the beginning of January, more than 40% of people returning to Belgium from a red zone have not had their mandatory test for coronavirus.
This comes from figures from the public health institute Sciensano relayed by Het Nieuwsblad on Sunday. At the end of 2020, the government decided that people returning from the red zones had to be quarantined on their return and tested on the first and seventh day of their return. If the second test proves negative, the quarantine is then over.
During the week of January 18-24, some 30,242 red zone returns were recorded. Of these, 15,273 people with a National Registration Number (NISS) were expected to take a test. However, only 9,034 actually did so, a rate of 59.2%. The positivity rate among them was 3.1%.
During this period, most of the returnees came from France (19% of the total), followed by Spain (13.4%), Morocco (5.5%), Poland (4.1%) and Italy (3.8%).
The trend for the weeks of January 4 and 11 was similar, with 58.9 and 57% of tests performed and a positivity rate of 3.6 and 4.3%.
During these three weeks, more than 40% of the people who were supposed to be tested did not do so. This represents 28,360 individuals out of a total of 68,239 individuals with NISS who were supposed to be tested.
At the beginning of last week, the Minister of Justice, Vincent Van Quickenborne (Open Vld), announced that those who return but do not get tested, even though it is mandatory, would be fined €250.