COVID-19 is still with us and likely to remain a risk to health for the near to mid-term. Test and trace is a key element in containing the virus. But where and how to get a test in Brussels?
Our colleagues at the Expat Welcome Desk of the Brussels Commissioner' office have recently sent out details of how to get a test.
This interactive map shows all Covid-19 screening centres in the Brussels-Capital Region (screenshot above) and the conditions for being tested: with or without symptoms, prescription or appointment.
Do you have symptoms?
Obligatory testing for people with symptoms: do you have a cough, fever or breathing difficulties? Do you no longer have a sense of smell or taste? If the GP suspects that you have COVID-19, he/ she will either test you themselves or refer you to the local triage centre indicated for individuals with symptoms of COVID-19. The PCR or swab test you take will be sent to the lab for analysis that same day. In the case where you do not have a GP, call 1710.
Stay at home as long as you haven’t received the test results. In the meantime, your GP will ask you to make a list of all the people you came into contact with up to two days before your symptoms began. This list will only be used if your test is positive, as part of contact tracing procedures. Testing is free of charge.
From October 1, the quarantine period is shortened from 14 to 7 days and a new quarantine system will apply.
If you have symptoms of COVID you should contact your doctor and isolate yourself immediately for 7 days. You will need to take a test as soon as possible.
If the test is positive: the quarantine continues.
If the test is negative: as soon as your clinical situation allows it, you can be released from quarantine.
If you have no symptoms but have had close contact with a positive person. As soon as you learn about it or are contacted by contact tracing, you must immediately quarantine yourself for 7 days, from the last day on which you had close contact with the infected person. It is important to only quarantine yourself when you have had close contact with the positive person.
You make an appointment to take a single test on the 5th day.
If this test is positive: your quarantine is extended for 7 days.
If this test is negative: you should no longer be in quarantine after the 7th day.
From Friday, September 25, going to "orange zones" and "red zones is strongly discouraged, but no longer prohibited. When you come back from an "orange zone", a COVID test will not be mandatory.
Travellers returning from a "red zone" will have to quarantine themselves from the first day of their return (for 7 days) and take a test on day 5. They can avoid this obligation if they complete a self-assessment document, which, after analysis, would authorise them to do so.
Centres for (non-reimbursed) private testing
Are you traveling to a country where you can only enter after a PCR test? Do you need to get tested for another reason? In these cases, you can go to your GP or to a private test centre without a medical prescription. These tests are not reimbursed by compulsory health insurance.
For more information, check out this website or call 0800 14 689 (toll free).