BRUSSELS – Belgium mulls quarantine for arrivals from high-risk countries

Belgian health ministers will discuss on  Tuesday (7 July) whether quarantine and testing for travellers returning from areas with a high COVID-19 risk should be applied nationwide.

Travellers returning from a country or region where COVID-19 measures have been tightened again should be treated the same way as high-risk contacts of infected people, the Risk Management Group advised earlier in Monday, a move strongly supported by Flanders.

“There is no criminal penalty for the time being. We are looking at how we can possibly strengthen this legally. But there is certainly a moral obligation, there is such a thing as citizenship. This is about the health of all citizens”, Flemish Minister of Health Wouter Beke (CD&V) said in Het Journaal.

Last weekend, health minister Maggie De Block (Open VLD) had made clear there is no legal framework to place people, who have not been proven to be infected, in home isolation.

Accordingly, returning travellers should be tested and placed in quarantine for a maximum of two weeks. At the moment, however, it is unclear how such measures could be imposed legally and practically, but authorities appeal to social consciousness of people.

(Alexandra Brzozowski, EURACTIV.com)

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