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Two free PCR tests for travel available from 28 June

Credit: Belga

The two free tests which will be offered to people who have not yet had the chance to be vaccinated against the coronavirus will be available from Monday 28 June, Federal Public Health Minister Frank Vandenbroucke announced on Thursday.

At the start of June, Prime Minister Alexander De Croo announced that 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.

The tests will become available three days before the EU Digital Covid Certificate, which will show that a person has been fully vaccinated against the coronavirus, has a recent negative PCR Covid-19 test, or recently recovered after infection, indicating immunity, is implemented on 1 July.

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As most European countries are opting to only grant entry based on vaccination to people who have received both doses (apart from the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, which requires one dose), people who have received just one vaccine will get free PCR tests too.

“We are moving towards a capacity of 150,000 tests per day. Via the masante.be website, people will be able to see where they can take the test,” said Vandenbroucke.

For those who forgot about getting tested, rapid antigenic tests, which will have to be paid for to avoid “a rush to pharmacies”, will be available in pharmacies from Monday 12 July.

Over 650,000 people have already registered for the Belgian certificate, which connects to the EU’s Digital Covid Certificate and became available on Wednesday morning.

The government is expected to further discuss the exact details and information regarding the implementation of the travel certificate during Friday’s Consultative Committee.