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Capacity Test Centre Brussels Airport increases fourfold for testing returning passengers

Thanks to the airport's own Test Centre, which opened its doors in September, Brussels Airport can quickly respond to the government's decision that all Belgian passengers returning from a red zone must be tested upon arrival. Together with the Test Centre partners, Ecolog and Eurofins, the Test Centre's testing capacity will be increased from 1 January. There will also be a second test site in the Arrivals Hall on 2 January. In the following days there will be a second test site in the arrivals hall and a drive-in facility to increase the capacity fourfold. Returning passengers can only be tested at the airport with an activation code from the government.

Brussels Airport learned yesterday evening that, as of 31 December, the authorities will require a PCR test for Belgian residents returning from a red zone, and that the test capacity at the airport will have to be increased for this purpose. Thanks to the Test Centre at the airport, which was opened in September on the airport’s initiative, Brussels Airport is able to respond quickly to this decision.

Today, the Test Centre at the airport can already carry out about 125 tests per hour. Together with the Test Centre's partners, Ecolog and Eurofins, the testing capacity will increase fourfold in the coming days.

As of tomorrow 1 January it will be possible to take 300 tests per hour by deploying extra medical staff in the Test Centre. One day later, on 2 January, a second test location will be available in the arrivals hall of the airport where arriving passengers can be tested. This will further increase the testing capacity to a total of around 500 passengers per hour. In the course of next week, a drive-in test facility will be set up at the airport to provide even more capacity.

Today and tomorrow, 4,000 returning passengers are expected a day. On Saturday 2 January there will be 7,000, and on Sunday 3 January there will be 8,000 returning passengers. Returning passengers can only be tested at the airport with an activation code or text message from the government.

It is not an obvious task to realise this increase in capacity in such a short period of time during a holiday period, but the airport has been prioritising the safety and health of its passengers since the beginning of the crisis and is doing everything possible to realise this as soon as possible. However, despite the efforts made to systematically increase capacity, given the high number of passengers returning, there will be long waiting times for passengers if they decide to take this test at the airport.

The additional test site will have the same opening hours as the current Test Centre, and passengers will be able to get tested between 3.30 am and 12 pm. Passengers returning from a red zone who are affiliated to a Belgian health insurance will be able to have themselves tested free of charge, returning passengers without Belgian health insurance will pay the RIZIV rate (46.81 euro). Arriving passengers will receive their test result within 48 to 72 hours. For departing passengers who have themselves tested, the procedure does not change.

Anyone who wishes to get tested at the airport should register online in advance via https://brusselsairport.ecocare.center/ with their identity details and the government's activation code. After the online registration you will receive a QR code with which you can come to the Test Centre for the test.

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