European Parliament to open coronavirus testing center
MEPs and staff will get their test results within 24 hours.
The European Parliament plans to open a coronavirus testing facility for MEPs and staff, with test results available within a day.
The Parliament’s Committee on Budgets today green-lighted the plan, voting in favor by a margin of 39, one opposed and one abstaining. Parliament President David Sassoli had asked to redirect €990,000 — originally allocated for staff missions and travel between MEPs’ places of work — to fund PCR tests between October and December.
“Testing is crucial for early detection and to effectively contain the spread of the virus,” according to the request, which was made following a decision of the Parliament’s bureau on September 14 that testing facilities should be set up. “Easy access to screening is also key to enabling international travel,” it added.
Test results will generally be available within 24 hours.
“If need be, it can also be shortened upon request, so that it will be available within 12 hours,” the Parliament’s Director General for Personnel Kristian Knudsen told the Budgets Committee.
A Parliament spokesperson said that the thinking behind the move is to “provide tests for MEPs and staff because they need to travel between their place of work and their constituencies” and allow them to get a result “as fast as possible.”
Those tests would be “on a voluntary basis and only for asymptomatic people,” the spokesperson said, while noting that the idea is also to avoid putting additional strain on Belgian testing centers, “which are already under pressure.”
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