EUROCRATS have splashed out on a “state-of-the-art” facility handing out free coronavirus tests to EU officials while most Europeans are forced to pay for their own.
Many locals have complained that they can’t get a test unless they are showing symptoms of the virus. The “state-of-the-art screening centre” has an initial capacity for 200 tests per day for MEPs and their staff, according to an internal document.
Eurocrats promise “good air circulation” and that “ample physical distancing is ensured and all necessary hygienic measures are in place” at the facility. The swabs have been made available to anyone, regardless of whether they are asymptomatic or have been in recent contact with someone with a positive test result.
As part of last year’s EU Withdrawal Agreement, UK taxpayers will pick up a bill for around £117,000, despite British MEPs having lost their jobs in January. Euro politicians and their staff are encouraged to take two tests when arriving into Belgium from “so-called red zones”.
They are also allowed to request a swab if they are planning to leave the country for work or pleasure. In Brussels, the public can only access a test if they are symptomatic after the authorities clamped down on the requirements. Local governments have established special mass-testing villages where the test results are often returned after more than a five-day wait.
By JOE BARNES, EXPRESS BRUSSELS CORRESPONDENT