From now on, anyone with Covid-19 symptoms in the Brussels-Capital Region can get tested for coronavirus without a prescription in a testing centre.
The procedure to get tested has been simplified by the Joint Community Commission to facilitate the screening of symptomatic people as well as those identified as high-risk contacts.
In practice, this means that these people can now make an appointment via an online platform, without needing a doctor's prescription to do that.
"The idea is to further lower the threshold to get tested," Inge Neven of the Brussels Health Inspectorate explained. "As soon as you have symptoms of Covid-19, you can register for a test. A doctor will then be present in the centre to make the prescription."
- Belgium imposes €250 fines on red-zone travellers who don't get tested
- GPs can begin using rapid Covid-19 tests
She stressed the necessity of getting tested as soon as possible at the first symptoms, so contact tracing can start right away.
Additionally, the fact that there is a doctor on-site will also make testing easier for people without a regular GP. For people who have to get tested, because they show symptoms, have a doctor's prescription, returned from a red zone or were contacted by a tracing centre, the tests will be free.
Anyone who gets tested, however, will be asked to sign a statement in honour stating that they are actually experiencing symptoms that may be caused by Covid-19.
From 25 January, all high-risk contacts, in addition to returning travellers, will have to be tested on day 1 and 7 of their quarantine to limit the spread of the virus, the interministerial health conference decided.
The Brussels Times