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Police not rigorously checking PLFs of motorists

Credit: Tommy Leclerq/Facebook

In ten days, the Federal Police checked only about a thousand cars for Passenger Locator Forms (PLF) at border crossings into Belgium.

Fifteen people were caught with forged coronavirus documents.

The figures were obtained from the Federal Police by De Standaard, and show a lack of rigorous checking that tourists and other travellers are abiding by coronavirus measures that require them to have completed a PLF.

When travelling by car, there appears to be only a minimal chance that PLF forms will be checked for compliance and that a negative PCR test can be presented by the traveller.

Figures show that between 16 and 25 July, 1,106 cars were checked, with 1,400 people in them.

This is only a fraction of the checks carried out by the police at the airport, where some 100,000 people were checked in the same period, arriving in Belgium on more than 6,600 aircraft.

“Of course, it’s striking that many more people are checked when they enter our country by plane than by car,” Jana Verdegem of the Federal Police told De Standaard.

“But it is easier and safer to carry out checks in an airport than on a motorway.”

In total, the police have checked eight thousand vehicles in the past ten days: most of them airplanes, but also 1,100 cars and 266 trains.

A total of 245 official reports were drawn up.

Of those, 204 were for people who had not filled in their PLF.

“Unfortunately, we also sometimes catch people who try to travel with forged documents,” said Verdegem.

For that, 15 official reports were drawn up.

During the coming weekends, which are particularly popular with travellers, the police will carry out additional checks.

The Brussels Times