The Covid-19 epidemic is still not over in France, despite restrictions instated for over a year. To prevent a fifth epidemic wave, this past July 12, Emmanuel Macron announced the health pass will become compulsory to access some places. A law instated since early August. Movie theaters, restaurants, museums... You now have to show a valid vaccination certificate or a negative test to enjoy many activities.
Nonetheless, the government never hide it: this law aims at urging the French to get vaccinated to stop the spread of the virus as much as possible. To carry on this effort, the executive also announced another measure: the end of some free PCR tests. Therefore, "comfort" tests will be charged starting from this Fall. This Wednesday September 8, 2021 Prime Minister Jean Castex announced the date: it will land on October 15, 2021.
Covid: no more free tests from this October 15, how much do they cost? To whom do they apply?
PCR and antigenic tests – necessary for unvaccinated to get a valid health pass – will become charged starting from October 15, excluding medical prescriptions. How much will they cost, then and to whom do they apply? Keep reading to find out more. [Read more]
Starting from mid-October, only PCR or antigenic tests prescribed by a doctor or in the event of a contact-case situation will be reimbursed. Are considered as comfort tests those taken in order to get a temporary health pass to access public places.
This September 26, 2021 in an interview with Les Echos, the PM guaranteed: "It is not longer relevant to overpay comfort test at the expense of ratepayers. But test will keep being reimbursed for medical ground, whether without prescription for people already vaccinated, or upon prescription for the others. We also want to keep it free for the underaged."
Therefore, Jean Castex reminds: "the logic is to reimburse tests related to truly medical grounds and keep encouraging to get vaccinated".
About a quarter of the French still refuses to get vaccinated. According to the Health Ministry's data, 74.7% of the French have been given at least one dose of vaccine, and 71.6% have been given all necessary doses.
For those still resisting, a "screen-test" budget will have to be set up: unvaccinated - and who do not have any medical prescription - will soon have to pay for their own PCR or antigenic tests. In France, the repayment of these tests cost €2.2 billion in 2020 to the State.