One in 14 Belgian travelers returns from Spain with the Covid: should these trips be banned?

This was one of the elements frequently put forward to explain the resumption of the cases of Covid-19 detected in Belgium at the beginning of July: many Belgians are being tested to travel, and among them some asymptomatic are thus detected when they would not have it. not been without it.

But that was only part of the explanation: the rise in detected cases continued (+ 86% in one week) as the number of tests began to level off. And according to Sciensano’s epidemiological report, the positivity rate of candidate travelers remains very low.

On the other hand, the positivity rate increases very strongly in symptomatic people, as well as among contacts of positive cases. But it also rises for the RETURN travel tests. Since April, this rate had only fallen, from 2.9 to 1.3 to drop to only 1% of positive tests in June.

But it has just risen sharply: for the period from July 5 to 11, 16,454 tests were carried out, among the 187,275 travelers returning from the red zone, having completed a PLF (Passenger Locator Form). And 4.6% of these tests were positive, a rate more than four times higher than that of June.

Read also: Coronavirus in Spain: what is the reason for the surge in contaminations?

The main source of these travelers was Spain, ahead of France and Greece. And it is also the area where we observe the most positive tests: no less than 7% of travelers returning from Spain and having completed their PLF were contaminated, or nearly one Belgian traveler in 14. This is much more than the overall percentage of tests carried out in our country, including 2% only are positive. And this is even more than the number of positive travelers returning from the United Kingdom (3.4%), which is however the country in Europe where the virus is circulating the most at the moment.

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And this only applies to travelers who have completed their PLF and have been tested! However, we know that many car travelers do not, a situation that worries the epidemiologist Geert Molenberghs, who reacts to these figures in the Nieuwsblad.

This is a high percentage and a high volume of infected travelers. Spain puts all other countries at risk “He comments. According to him, the influx can degenerate the epidemic in our own country. We need a travel ban “, even Molenberghs declares to our colleagues….

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