Public prosecutor to fine airlines that don’t check coronavirus travelling documents
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Public prosecutor to fine airlines that don’t check coronavirus travelling documents

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The public prosecutor’s office of Halle-Vilvoorde has said it will fine airline companies in Brussels Airport that do not check whether passengers have filled out a Passenger Location Form (PLF) or airlines let them board without a PLF.

Most countries in the European Union require passengers to fill out a PLF before arrival, especially if they are coming from a red zone, however, according to the public prosecutor, a number of airlines have already received warnings for failing to check these forms.

“If they still make a mistake, they will be summoned to appear before the police court and risk fines of up to €48,000,” public prosecutor Ine Van Wymersch told Belga news agency.

Travelling to and from Belgium has been possible since the travel ban was lifted on 19 April, and normally airlines have to check whether travellers have filled in the PLF correctly. Those who did not shouldn’t be allowed to embark on the plane.

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The public prosecutor previously said it would take stricter action against people who failed to fill in the PLF – two men have already been sentenced to prison for forging the travel document – however, it will now also carry out stricter checks with airlines.

According to Van Wymersch, previous checks have shown that the majority of travellers passing through Brussels Airport make “every effort to travel safely”, but added that they also highlighted that a number of carriers are carrying out little to no checks, and in turn “are not fulfilling their obligations.”

“We will work with the airport police to carry out targeted checks to monitor both travellers and transport companies,” the Halle-Vilvoorde prosecutor said.

“If several travellers on a particular flight do not have the mandatory certificates and forms, this may indicate that the airline did not check the documents or at least allowed travellers to embark who do not meet the conditions.”

If an airline is caught not checking the forms, it will be summoned to appear before the police court and could risk fines of up to €48,000 euros.

Travellers who do not fill out the form will be presented with an out-of-court settlement of €250 and will be summoned to appear before the police court.

Meanwhile, travellers with a forged PLF will have to pay an out-of-court settlement of €750, and if they fail to pay this fine, they will be prosecuted before the correctional court.

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