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Belgium in Brief: The Return Of Day 7 Tests

While they never fully went away, the Day 7 test is officially back with a vengeance as part of the new changes to Belgium’s Covid-fighting measures.

This time, however, the changes also apply to those who are vaccinated.

As of 31 August, all travellers returning to Belgium from a red zone outside the EU have to be tested on days 1 and 7 upon arrival in Belgium, even if they have a valid vaccination or recovery certificate, according to the latest changes to the rules.

Tests are free and a negative result on day 1 means that no quarantine is required. But regardless of the result of the first test, a day 7 test is still required and, you guessed it, if the test is positive, it’s time to self-isolate.

For those without a valid vaccination or recovery certificate returning from a red zone within the European Union or one of the non-EU countries on the white list, the same rules apply.

Today also marks the change to rules regarding high-risk contacts. So, despite some restrictions being relaxed tomorrow (more info on that very shortly), make sure you’re totally up to speed with what you need to know today.

Here’s more.

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1. Belgium’s stricter testing rules for the vaccinated come into force today

On Tuesday 31 August, the day before a number of coronavirus restrictions will be lifted, Belgium’s stricter testing rules for returning travellers and high-risk contacts are also coming into force. Read more.

2. A ‘catastrophic’ summer for tourism in Brussels

With the city still afflicted by the pandemic, this has been another bad summer for tourism in Brussels with foreigners avoiding the capital. On top of this, Belgium’s wettest summer on record did nothing to bring business to the sector. Read more.

3. ‘The more people eat online, the unhappier they are’: UAntwerp wants to know why

A recent study at the University of Antwerp of more than 37,000 respondents in 38 countries worldwide showed that 1 in 4 people regularly seek each other out online to share a drink or meal that they can’t have in person due to coronavirus restrictions. Read more.

4. Covid infections between fully vaccinated people reduced by 90%

Coronavirus vaccines not only reduce the risk of infection, but also make vaccinated people less contagious if they do still get infected, confirms a study by Sciensano, the Belgian health institute, which was published in the international journal Vaccine. Read more.

5. Entire class could be quarantined following Covid-19 infection

An entire classroom or nursery group may have to go into quarantine if there are several infections among the group’s students, or if a child care worker or teacher tests positive. Read more.

6. More than 2,000 daily coronavirus infections on average

The average number of people testing positive for the coronavirus in Belgium has now surpassed 2,000 per day after stabilising slightly last week. Read more.

7. Every day, 12 children are involved in an accident on their way to school

As Wednesday marks the start of a new school year, the last few days of the holidays should be used to prepare children for the journey to school, as 1,510 of them were injured in a traffic accident on this route in 2020, according to the Vias Road Safety Institute. Read more.

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