Brussels pharmacies report rush on rapid tests due to Covid Safe Ticket

Brussels pharmacies report rush on rapid tests due to Covid Safe Ticket
Credit: Belga

Many pharmacists in Brussels have noticed a remarkable increase in the demand for Covid-19 tests this weekend, following the official expansion of the Covid Safe Ticket (CST) in the Region on Friday.

As a valid CST is now needed to enter a bar or restaurant in Brussels, a number of pharmacists report “a real rush” on rapid and self-tests, according to reports by VRT.

Someone’s CST is only valid if they have been fully vaccinated, have recently recovered from a coronavirus infection or have a recent negative test result. In case of a PCR test, the test can only be 48 hours old; a rapid test is only valid for 24 hours.

“It is a real rush: 300 requests in one weekend, compared to an average of around 150,” the owner of a pharmacy on the Rue Royale told Bruzz. “Even in the middle of the night, people come to ask for a test. They are all people who want to visit a museum or go on holiday.”

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A pharmacist located in the municipality of Anderlecht said that it has been one test after the other since last weekend.

“It is especially noticeable here in the neighbourhood. The vaccination figures here are not good. Since the expansion of the CST, we have been carrying out a huge number of tests,” they told the local outlet. “Whether that will lead to an increase in the number of vaccinated people? I doubt it.”

There are no concrete figures yet, but the Brussels Pharmacists’ Association did confirm that a lot of phone calls to book appointments for rapid covid tests came in.

“Last weekend, it was mainly pharmacists on duty who were called, and that cannot be the intention. They are there in the first place to deliver necessary medicines,” said Ann Herzeel of the Association. “It is advisable to schedule your rapid test or your PCR test in advance.”

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