One year in prison for second traveller with fake PCR test, Brussels court rules
Share article:
Share article:

One year in prison for second traveller with fake PCR test, Brussels court rules

Credit: Brussels Airport

A second man who was caught attempting to get on a plane with a forged PCR test has been sentenced to one year in prison by the Brusselse correction court on Monday.

It concerns the second such conviction since 27 April, when the public prosecutor’s office announced that it would take strict action against such acts. The first conviction happened on Tuesday 22 June, for a similar offence.

On 7 May, the man had presented himself at the airport with the results of a PCR test which was supposed to show that he had tested negative for the coronavirus, according to reports by the Belga news agency.

However, after checking with the laboratory that had supposedly conducted the test, it turned out that no test with the man’s reference numbers had been carried out, and that his name did not appear in the data either.

The traveller then confessed that he had bought the forged certificate for €30.

Related News:


The public prosecutor’s office in Halle-Vilvoorde first offered the man a settlement of €750, but he refused. He also did not appear in court, and was sentenced in absentia to a prison term of one year and a fine of €4,000.

“These are very serious offences,” the court said in its ruling, reports Belga. “International air travel is the easiest way for a pandemic to spread globally.”

According to the court, the person involved demonstrated “an anti-social and dangerous attitude, that does not only show a complete lack of respect for health care providers, but also put the health and safety of his fellow travellers at risk.”

Travelling abroad for non-essential reasons has been possible again since 19 April, but travellers have to fill out a Passenger Locator Form (PLF) upon return. To combat abuse, the Board of Prosecutors-General has issued guidelines on the prosecution of persons who falsify such PLFs or Covid test certificates.

In practice, these guidelines state that people who create or use these false documents are immediately summoned to appear before the criminal court. However, prosecutors can opt to first propose an amicable settlement of €750.

Between 19 April and 11 June, 576 people were caught with such a falsified PCR test at the airport, reports Belga.

Latest news

Belgium intends to activate the pandemic law, says Health Minister
"We intend to activate the pandemic law," Public Health Minister Frank Vandenbroucke confirmed on Tuesday in the House committee, ahead of Tuesday's ...
EU auditors: More worried about the future budget than about pervasive errors in the 2020 budget
The European Court of Auditors (ECA) have signed off the 2020 EU accounts as giving a true and fair view of the union’s financial position but like ...
Belgium aims to tackle sexual violence with video interrogations
The federal government is looking to tackle sexual violence and increase convictions connected to this crime by relying more heavily on video ...
Duvel celebrates 150th anniversary with special brew in commemorative bottle
Belgium’s Duvel Moortgat Brewery is celebrating its 150th anniversary with the release of a special brew in a commemorative bottle shaped like its ...
Pollution scandal: 3M to show emissions don’t pose risk or halt production
Flanders has ordered American company 3M, involved in a pollution scandal in Antwerp, to prove that emissions linked to its production activities do ...
The Netherlands fears a greater rise in sea levels than forecast
Sea levels could rise by up to two metres by 2100 on the Dutch coastline – far more than previously forecast – according to an announcement from the ...
The Smurfs return to Belgian TV with the first new show since 1989
A new Smurfs show is bringing the characters of Belgium's second-most-famous comic franchise back to the small screen with their first new series, 30 ...
Almost half of Belgian subsidies from EU left unused
Belgium left almost half (49%) of its subsidies allocated by the European Union between 2013 and 2020 unused, the equivalent of around €1.375 ...
Visitors to embark on Orient Express adventure at Brussels exhibition
An exhibition dedicated to the Orient Express – the train that was the scene for many novels, including Agatha Christie's – allows visitors to ...
Offers for fake Covid Safe Tickets circulating on social media
As the Covid Safe Ticket (CST) becomes mandatory in many places across Belgium, offers for forgeries are increasingly circulating on social media. ...
Belgium in Brief: Feeling Good/ Pandemic Law
Yesterday I said I was writing a newsletter I didn't want to write again. Today I'm writing another one ahead of a meeting that wasn't supposed ...
Eating less meat won’t actually help much with Flemish CO2 emissions
When it comes to the ways in which ordinary people can help to reduce CO2 emissions, eating less meat is often touted as an important solution. ...