Extra Covid testing centres for holidaymakers open in Antwerp
Share article:
Share article:

Extra Covid testing centres for holidaymakers open in Antwerp

Credit: Frank Toussaint/UZA

On 21 June, the University Hospital of Antwerp (UZA) is opening Covid-19 test centres for people wanting to go on holiday on two of its campuses, to relieve the growing burden on existing centres and GPs.

One centre will open on the campus of Edegem, just outside of Antwerp City, and will be easily accessible, located between the hospital’s main entrance and the emergency department.

Travellers from the wider Antwerp region will soon be able to make an appointment there before going on a trip abroad, the UZA announced.

Another test centre for travellers will be set up in the municipality of Geel, in collaboration with its current test and triage centre, which will continue to focus on people who are referred by their GP in the event of symptoms or high-risk contacts.

Additionally, starting this summer, the test buses of the Mobile Testing Team ‘CoBUSters’ will also be used to test groups of travellers before their departure.

Related News:


Municipalities can, for example, call the CoBUSters test team to their territory to test people, such as group travellers or organisations, at fixed times and locations.

On top of that, the Mobile Testing Team will also remain available for screenings of possible cluster outbreaks in both the province of Antwerp and Limburg.

Additionally, the UZA is investigating the possibility of having holidaymakers keep a digital diary of their symptoms to quickly detect possible infections in returning travellers.

“At last week’s test events, we ran a pilot for this,” medical director Guy Hans said in a press release. ‘If someone shows symptoms that could indicate a Covid infection, that person can be referred to a GP for a test or examination as soon as possible.”

“For a safe summer, we must remain vigilant at the system level, but also each person individually,” he said.

In mid-May, experts already warned that many people would not be able to go on holiday, if Belgium’s testing capacity did not improve by the summer, citing the lack of staff to carry out the tests and the resulting long times as big concerns.

General practitioners also stated that they were overwhelmed by the number of people asking for a test to be able to go on holiday, saying that testing travellers for Covid-19 was keeping them from their actual job, which is caring for “sick patients or people who need help.”

Additionally, big summer events, such as music festivals like Pukkelpop are also coming up this summer, which will increase the demand for Covid-19 tests even more, which are sure to cause major peaks in the doctors’ workload, they warned.

Latest news

Why Belgium is regulating sex work
After decades of confusing rules and hypocritical policy, Belgium is finally regulating sex work by removing prostitution from the criminal law. ...
Up to 100 km/h winds expected across Belgium on Wednesday night
Gusts of up to 100 km/h are expected across Belgium on Wednesday night, according to the Royal Meteorological Institute (RMI), which has issued a ...
Cycling traffic officially added to VRT’s traffic bulletin
Usually a list of updates for drivers on busy roads, traffic bulletins will now include the latest travel news for cyclists in Belgium, VRT announced ...
MEPs call for European strategy to protect workers from asbestos
Members of the European Parliament are calling on the Commission to create a strategy for removing all abestos from buildings in order to reduce the ...
Mandatory vaccine for carers: employers call for sanctions
In a notice submitted by the National Council for Work (CNT), employers have called for heavy penalties for healthcare workers who refuse to receive ...
Police pension protest blocks several Brussels crossroads
On Wednesday, around 350 police officers expressed their dissatisfaction about the unclear pension scheme, low salaries and politicised police unions ...
Belgium in Brief: A Consultative Committee Sequel
Sequels often have a lot to live up to and when it comes to movie franchises, it gets difficult to keep up the hype once you get towards the final ...
25 years ago today: 300,000 people marched in white against child abuse
On this day 25 years ago, over 300,000 people marched in Brussels to demand a more effective justice system and to support the families of Julie, ...
Windy weather forecast should lower gas prices
After weeks of relatively calm conditions, a return to windy weather should lower Europe's soaring energy prices. Wind turbines in the UK and Germany ...
EC calls on candidate countries to focus on fundamental reforms before they can join the EU
The European Commission adopted yesterday its 2021 Enlargement Package, providing a detailed assessment of the state of play and the progress made by ...
Cigarette-eating robot patrols Ghent streets to fight littering
A litter fighting (and eating) robot will be patrolling the streets of Ghent in the coming weeks in an effort to raise awareness of the growing ...
Display of child’s room in Brussels raises awareness of foster families
An exhibit that features a fictitious child’s bedroom has been on display since Tuesday at the Place d'Armes in Namur, with the support of the ...