14 organizations in Belgium have written an open letter to the country’s health minister, Frank Vandenbroek, urging them to accept rapid COVID-19 antigen tests in order to facilitate travel.
The Belgian Association of Travel Management (BATM), together with Belgium and the Brussels Airport Company, as well as other organizations, have expressed their concerns about the inconsistent measures imposed by each country and region that, according to it, carry out the air travel operation. Too tricky, according to TheSchengen.com.
In addition, the organizations also called on Belgium to join the member states of the European Union.
Restarting international aviation will revitalize the economic recovery from Covid-19. Besides vaccines, testing will play an important role in giving governments confidence to reopen their borders to travelers. For governments, the top priority is accuracy. But travelers will also need the tests to be convenient and affordable because the cost of PCR testing can completely change the economics of travel,” the organizations noted in the letter.
Moreover, the organizations stressed that the rapid antigen test is as effective as the PCR test in reducing the risk of cross-border transmission.
“Meanwhile, the cost and bureaucracy of PCR tests add huge burdens to … companies looking to travel. These are important considerations in preparing for a successful restart,” the letter stated.
Although no concrete decision has been made on accepting a COVID-19 rapid antigen test for travel up to this point, Belgian health authorities previously scrapped several restrictions after confirming that the country was close to meeting the target of 70 per cent of the population being fully vaccinated across the board. municipalities.
The announcement indicated that tourists visiting Belgium will be allowed to attend many events and activities, including private gatherings and other organized activities.
Brussels Airlines recently revealed a significant increase in bookings of 30 percent to 40 percent, while the airline expects companies to ease travel restrictions further starting next month.
However, earlier, TheSchengen.com reported that the COVID-19 situation had brought the Belgian tourism sector to its knees, followed by poor weather. In this regard, representatives of the tourism sector in Belgium called on the country’s government to extend temporary unemployment measures.
This measure is granted to all the temporarily unemployed, while the assistance consists of 65 percent of their average salary, for a total sum of €2785.07 per month.