In recent months a high number of passengers arriving at Brussels Airport have been found to have fake negative PCR tests; 160 travellers will appear before public prosecutors over the coming weeks, Halle-Vilvoorde prosecutors announced on Monday.
Those found guilty can face penalties of up to six months in prison and €1,200 fines – as has already been handed out to some passengers. Indeed, since overseas travel again became possible in April, over 800 passengers have been found with false documents. Speaking to VRT News, public prosecutor Ine Van Wymersch said that “this amounts to forgery of documents and is therefore treated criminally.”
Those arriving in Belgium must fill out a Passenger Locator Form (PLF) but, depending on the country of departure, also often require a negative PCR test to travel to Belgium. To combat abuse of the system, authorities have published directives on legal actions that are faced by those who are caught.
“These last months, 820 people have been caught with fake documents at check-in or when boarding their flight,” prosecutors announced. “They were denied entry to the plane and were handed settlement proposals of €750.”
Officials added that 80% of those caught accepted the €750 settlement but those that did not will now appear in court.