Nearly 200 holidaymakers from Belgium have returned to the country from a hotel in Spain put on quarantine in an attempt to contain a coronavirus outbreak.
After landing in the airport in Ostend, the 176 travellers were allowed to go home since as they did not need to be quarantined, Belga news agency reports.
"Both the Spanish and Belgian authorities have followed up and checked on the holidaymakers," a spokesperson for travel operator TUI, which arranged some of the travellers' holidays, told Het Niuewsblad.
The travellers were among hundreds who had to remain in isolation in a hotel on the Spanish island of Tenerife after Italian guests there tested positive for the new Covid-19 coronavirus in February.
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The passengers were reportedly all tested for the virus and had their temperature taken ahead of the flight, with staff at Ostend airport saying that "no measures had to be taken" prior to their arrival since they presented no signs of infection.
News of their arrival comes as the count of confirmed infections in Belgian territory reached 50 on Thursday, with authorities saying that 27 people ha tested positive for the virus in the largest number of cases confirmed in one day.
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An official with the federal public service for finance (FPS Santé) was among the 27 new confirmed cases, with health officials working to track down those who came in close contact with the employee, including in their workplace in the FINTO tower, which houses several other government offices including the health and finance and of social security services.
In a daily press conference on the state of the outbreak in Belgium, health authorities will update the case count around noon on Friday.
The Brussels Times