The French Government has confirmed that starting from Friday, October 15, PCR and rapid antigen tests taken for non-medical reasons will no longer be covered by health insurance.
Based on the new decision that was published yesterday by the French authorities, persons who want to undergo a so-called ‘comfort test’, which is generally taken by those who only want to reassure that they have not been infected by the virus without showing any symptoms, will be charged, SchengenVisaInfo.com reports.
Since March 2020, around 150 million tests have been carried out in France, with more than 6 million per week only during August. As such, through this new screening strategy, the French Government intends to encourage more citizens of the country to get vaccinated against the COVID-19 disease.
“It is no longer legitimate to pay excessively for comfort tests at the expense of taxpayers. But tests will continue to be reimbursed for medical reasons, either without prescription for people already vaccinated or on prescription for others. We also want to keep it free for minors. The logic is to reimburse the tests linked to truly medical reasons and to continue to encourage people to be vaccinated,” the French Prime Minister, Jean Castex, said back on September 26.
Even though the Government has decided to adopt a new testing strategy, it has been emphasised that the authorities aim to provide easy access to those who show symptoms and contacts at risk.
This means that all those who show any symptoms related to the Coronavirus disease, those who have been in contact with someone infected by the virus, and those who need to take the test for other medical purposes will continue to benefit from free of charge testing.
Those who hold a vaccination certificate that shows that the holder has been fully vaccinated as well as the one who holds a previous recovery certificate also fall into the exemption list as long as they provide the document in the form of a QR code.
Children under the age of 18 who can present an identification document and persons who have a medical prescription will also be able to get tested for free after October 15. In addition, collective screening campaigns, such as those run in educational institutions, will also continue to offer free tests.
Regarding the persons who do not fall in any of the categories mentioned above, the authorities explained the process of the tests would be the same as those that are currently covered by health insurance.
Even though the prices vary according to the type of test, the professional who performs them, the place and day the test was carried out, the reference price for a PCR test is €43.89, whereas the price for an antigen test is €22.02 to €45.11
Previously, Castex revealed that the authorities are preparing a bill to extend the use of the Health Pass, which is already mandatory for all persons who wish to attend certain places and activities in the country.