About 20 Belgian young people who tested positive for Covid while on party holiday in Spain returned to Belgium by plane over the past few days, with plane tickets they received from their parents.
The young people, who were on a party holiday on the Costa Brava with youth travel organisation Jongerentravel, all tested positive with a PCR test that was carried out in official Spanish test centres, Katrien Corens of Jongerentravel confirmed to VRT NWS.
Despite the positive test, they managed to get on a plane using a loophole in the system: Belgians returning from a red zone only have to present their Passenger Locator Form (PLF) upon arrival.
Those without a Covid Certificate have to be tested upon return in Belgium, and remain in quarantine until the result of the test is negative.
Therefore, airline companies do not ask for a negative PCR test from Belgians who want to return to their home country.
The young people had been given flight tickets by their parents, but the organisation only discovered what was going on Thursday evening, after some other young people had heard the news.
“The system is not right. So you can just fly back from a blood-red zone after you have tested positive? That is madness,” said Corens.
Virologist and interfederal Covid-19 spokesperson Steven Van Gucht pointed out that anyone who gets infected abroad has to stay there to quarantine, according to the procedure.
Anyone who disregards those rules risks infecting others, but he does understand that an exception is made for minors: in Spain, minors are sent home, but “for adults, it is very clear: they have to stay there.”