In the week of 19 to 25 April, 58 people were caught at Brussels Airport as they wanted to travel abroad with a false certificate of a negative Covid-19 test. Those people were presented with an amicable settlement of 750 euros. Those who fail to pay will be summoned to the criminal court, and risk a five-year jail sentence and a fine of up to 2,000 euros.
Travelling abroad from Belgium has been possible again since 19 April, however, Prime Minister Alexander De Croo has emphasised that it is strictly discouraged. Upon return, the traveller must complete a Passenger Location Form (PLF). The Board of Attorneys General has issued guidelines on the prosecution of individuals who falsify or use such PLFs or Covid test certificates: they will be immediately summoned to criminal court. However, public prosecutors can choose to first propose an amicable settlement of 750 euros, which is what has been decided for people who travel via Brussels Airport.
“If the airport employees suspect that someone with a false certificate of a negative Covid test wants to travel abroad, they will call the airport police,” said prosecutor Ine Van Wymersch. “If the submitted certificate has been forged, the documents will be seized and the person concerned will not be able to travel. He or she will then be given the option to pay an amicable settlement of EUR 750. Anyone who does not pay will be summoned to the criminal court.”
Between Monday 19 April and Sunday 25 April, 58 people were already caught at the airport. “This is about a stubborn minority,” the prosecutor continues. “But these few people are jeopardising the safe travel of anyone who is okay and can present a real negative Covid test.”
Source: Het Nieuwsblad