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Belgian flight forced to quarantine due to government error

Credit: Belga

Hundreds of people were mistakenly told they must quarantine and get tested upon arrival in Belgium due to a system error involving a flight returning from a previously red zone.

People on a Ryanair flight from Sofia to Charleroi Airport on 30 August received a text message upon landing, informing them they were returning from a red zone and were required to get tested and quarantine.

“Everyone was unpleasantly surprised,” one passenger told The Brussels Times, noting that many were “asking questions and demanding answers.”

Sofia is in the southwest region of the country, which was a red zone for several weeks. The region had turned orange a few days before the flight in question.

When quizzed on the matter by another passenger, a border control officer said that he didn’t make the rules and told the traveller to move along.

Contacted about the matter, a spokesperson for the Federal Public Health Service confirmed that this was due to a system error that occurred specifically for that particular flight on that day.

“We apologise for this to the travellers for the possible inconvenience,” the spokesperson said.

While not mandatory, quarantine and test remain recommended for people returning from an orange zone.

Jason Spinks
The Brussels Times

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