Belgium offers travellers who have not been vaccinated yet 2 free PCR tests
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Belgium offers travellers who have not been vaccinated yet 2 free PCR tests

Credit: Belga

People who have not yet received an invitation to get vaccinated but want to travel this summer will get two free PCR tests from the government, Prime Minister Alexander De Croo stated in the Chamber on Thursday.

Friday’s Consultative Committee will largely go over travel rules, as there is still a lot of uncertainty. “More and more European countries are opting for the fully vaccinated option, which means that for most vaccine types, it concerns two doses,” De Croo said.

“But let it be clear, for those who are not vaccinated, there is an alternative, and that is the use of a recent PCR test,” he added. “The position of our country has always been that being fully vaccinated or having a PCR test must have exactly the same value.”

However, this means that people who have only had one dose of a vaccine will also need to show a PCR test before they can travel this summer.

“For those who have not had the opportunity to be fully vaccinated, the government is making two tests available, free of charge,” De Croo said.

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Earlier this week, Federal Health Minister Frank Vandenbroucke already argued that a free, or at least cheaper, PCR test should be provided for anyone who has not yet had the chance to be vaccinated.

However, these free tests should not be made available to people who had the chance to get vaccinated, but refused it, according to him.

Additionally, De Croo confirmed in the Chamber that the planned relaxations for 9 June are not under discussion, seeing as both planned relaxations thresholds were met.

The first condition, fewer than 500 Covid-19 patients in ICU, was met early last week, and as of Thursday 3 June, a total of 364 patients are still in intensive care.

The second condition stated that at least 80% of vulnerable people (being over-65s and people with underlying conditions) had to have received at least one vaccine dose, which has been surpassed with a 87% vaccination rate.

On Friday, the Consultative Committee will meet from 2:00 PM to discuss the upcoming changes. After the meeting, the latest decisions will be announced during a press conference.