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Brussels will deploy inspectors to enforce quarantine

Credit: Belga

Brussels will deploy around 40 inspectors to ensure that travellers returning from a red zone are respecting the mandatory quarantine rule, Brussels Minister-President Rudi Vervoort said on Monday.

Vervoort called for strict compliance with the the measures in order to avoid an outbreak of coronavirus infections, which is why inspectors will be “on the ground checking whether the quarantines are being respected,” he told BX1.

“We are asking everyone to take responsibility,” he said, underlining a “collective effort.”

Travellers who do not respect the quarantine obligation are subject to a fine, though the aim is “to encourage compliance with the rules” rather than collect fines, Vervoort ensured.

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Besides the inspectors on the ground, around 250 people are currently working in call centres to monitor infections and quarantines.

Over 160,000 travellers returned to Belgium from red zones during the Christmas holidays, according to sources at the Federal Public Health Service, with 19,937 people arriving on Sunday alone.

Reinforced checks due to new rules for returning travellers caused massive delays at Brussels Airport this weekend and prompted virologist Marc Van Ranst to speak out against the situation on Twitter, pointing out that “viruses love a lot of people in an indoor space.”

Jason Spinks
The Brussels Times