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Covid-19 testing

Anyone with Covid-19 symptoms can be tested.

Procedure

Do you have any of the following symptoms? Stay home and contact your GP, even if your symptoms are mild.

  • Cough
  • Respiratory problems
  • Fever
  • Aches and pains
  • Fatigue
  • Loss of sense of smell or taste
  • Diarrhoea

If the GP suspects that you have Covid-19, they will test you or refer you to the local triage centre. The test will be sent to the lab for analysis that same day.

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 the contact follow-up.

You will always receive your test results, regardless of whether the outcome is positive or negative. Did you test positive? Your health condition will be closely monitored and you will be prescribed the necessary treatment. The contact centre will take the necessary steps to inform the people close to you and your contacts that they may have been exposed to a Covid-19 carrier.

Procedure in the event of close contact with a person who has tested positive for Covid-19

In order to extend the tracing of asymptomatic cases, all persons who have had close contact with someone who has tested positive will now be tested. They may be tested twice, although this is not obligatory, at the start and end of their quarantine. A distinction is made according to the person’s professional activity.

  • For people who work with persons at risk (e.g. nursing and care home staff), testing at the end of the quarantine is the most important: it is essential that an asymptomatic carrier does not return to work if there is a risk of spreading the virus to residents.
  • Other people should preferably be tested at the start of the quarantine.

The following measures are applicable:

For asymptomatic close contacts who have professional contact with persons at risk:

  • A test must be performed between day 11 and day 13 of their 14-day isolation period, after having contacted their GP.
  • This also applies to close contacts who continue to work due to a lack of staff.
  • In agreement between the GP and the patient, a first PCR test can already be performed during the first week after exposure.

For all other asymptomatic close contacts:

  • A test must be carried out immediately after risk contact has been identified.
  • In agreement between the GP and the patient, a second PCR test may be performed if the first test was performed within 7 days after exposure. There must be a period of 5 days between the two tests. The second test can be performed at least 9 days after the last risk contact.
  • If the second PCR test is negative, the isolation may be ended, i.e. not earlier than 10 days after exposure. The GP will inform their patient of the ending of the quarantine.

For all close contact

  • If the result of one of these tests is positive, the close contact will become a confirmed case: contact tracing will begin and the patient will remain in isolation at home for a period of 7 days.
  • If the results are negative, the 14-day isolation period remains applicable.

Useful information

I have to do a PCR test to travel abroad to a country with measures that require a negative result. What is the procedure?

In such cases, it is best to contact your GP or a laboratory. These tests are not reimbursed by compulsory health insurance and can be charged to the person travelling at the rate of EUR 46.81.

I would like to have a serological test performed to see if I have developed antibodies to Covid-19. Under what conditions can I have this test carried out and what is the procedure?

You can contact your GP to find out if this test is useful in your case. These tests are still subject to considerable scientific uncertainty and constraints. On the prescription of a GP, reimbursement is envisaged for certain target groups if laboratory-approved test equipment is used. If the testing is done outside these target groups, EUR 9.60 may be charged for the identification of the antibodies. You can find more information about reimbursement on the website of the National Institute for Sickness and Invalidity Insurance. (French and Dutch only)