Belgium’s King Philippe and all party presidents will get tested for coronavirus
Share article:
Share article:

Belgium’s King Philippe and all party presidents will get tested for coronavirus

© Belga

All Belgian party presidents and King Philippe are set to get a coronavirus test after one of two royal appointees negotiating for a new federal government tested positive for the virus on Tuesday.

The Flemish liberal party Open Vld said on Tuesday that its president, royal appointee Egbert Lachaert had tested positive for the new coronavirus.

As one of two party leaders appointed by King Philippe to lead talks with a view of forming a new federal government, Lachaert has been in contact with top party officials as well as with the Belgian monarch.

Related News:

 

Open Vld spokesperson Thomas Vanwing confirmed reports that all party leaders would be getting a coronavirus test and that work would continue via video conference for the time being.

“All presidents and their collaborators will be tested,” Vanwing said in a text message, adding: “Everybody will respect the quarantine rules.”

A spokesperson for the royal palace also confirmed that King Philippe had been tested, and said that as of Wednesday morning his results were not known yet.

The spokesperson also said that, during the royal meetings held with the government formation appointees, all social distancing recommendations and health guidelines had been followed.

Any potential tests of other members of the Belgian royal family would be dependent on the results of the king, the spokesperson added.

Moments after the party announced Lachaert’s test results, fellow royal appointee Conner Rousseau rushed to publicly announce he had been tested and was negative, both via Twitter as well as with a video statement shared via public broadcaster VRT.

While Rousseau said on Twitter that he planned to be retested by the end of the week, he also said that “in the meantime,” he could continue working as usual, “with all the precautions,” prompting a response from health institute Sciensano’s Steven Van Gucht, who reminded him that a test taken to soon could be inaccurate.

“In the first days, the virus cannot be detected in the body,” Van Gucht told health publication Le Specialiste. “This is why we insist that a negative test cannot replace a quarantine.”

News that Lachaert is positive for coronavirus comes at a crucial time during the protracted talks to give Belgians a new federal government, and risk stalling efforts by parties to finally clinch a coalition deal ahead of 17 September deadline, when the current government’s special powers are set to expire.

Gabriela Galindo
The Brussels Times

Latest news

Brussels pharmacies report rush on rapid tests due to Covid Safe Ticket
Many pharmacists in Brussels have noticed a remarkable increase in the demand for Covid-19 tests this weekend, following the official expansion of ...
Students filmed naked on ULB campus given a warning
A group of students caught on camera mimicking sexual acts on the campus of the Université Libre de Bruxelles (ULB) have been issued an official ...
EU Digital Covid Certificate becomes an international success story
The European Commission adopted on Monday a report on the EU Digital Covid Certificate and its implementation across the EU. According to the ...
Belgian chocolatier agrees to $15 million settlement over misled consumers allegations
Internationally recognised Belgian chocolate manufacturer Godiva has reached a $15 million (€12.9 million) settlement after US consumers said they ...
‘Buying second home does not mean you are rich’: government disagrees on tax break
The Francophone liberal MR party and the Flemish socialist Vooruit party strongly disagree on the current scheme for tax benefits on people's second ...
EMA starts evaluating Pfizer vaccine for children over 5 years old
The European Medicines Agency (EMA) has started evaluating an application to extend the use of the Pfizer/BioNTech coronavirus vaccine to children ...
Energy prices: EU’s demand and supply dilemma in importing natural gas
The European Commission adopted last week a plan on how to tackle the rise in global energy prices in the short-term while relying on the transition ...
Tram line and cycle path to connect Brussels’ outskirts to airport
Works on a tram line connecting Brussels, the NATO headquarters and Brussels Airport in Zaventem, which could attract up to 10,000 passengers a day, ...
SKYFALL: European police complete counter-drone training in Antwerp
In a joint project between Belgium’s federal police and the Brussels Capital Ixelles Policing Area, 15 European police officers visited Antwerp to ...
Offshore wind farms could help reach climate neutrality by 2050
A study carried out by the Bureau fédérale du Plan (BFP) – an independent Belgian organisation that investigates questions of environmental and ...
Will Brussels bounce back?
The lockdowns have tested the city and forced it to confront key questions about its future. Derek Blyth looks back at an extraordinary moment in our ...
STIB launches free transport for Museum Night Fever this weekend
STIB buses will run between Brussels museums for free on Saturday night as part of the Museum Night Fever celebrations taking over the capital.  ...