Paid Covid-19 tests since October 15: all the answers to your questions
On October 15, Covid-19 screening tests became chargeable. Emmanuel Macron announced it during his speech on July 12, before the information was confirmed by Jean Castex on September 26, in an interview with Les Échos. Who is concerned ? How much are they going to cost? Le Figaro answers all your questions.
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Why are the tests paid for?
The end of free tests on October 15 is part of the government's strategy to encourage people who have not yet been vaccinated (i.e. 25% of the population) to do so. On July 12, Emmanuel Macron explained that it was a question of "encouraging vaccination rather than the multiplication of tests". There is also a budgetary reason. “It is no longer legitimate to pay excessive comfort tests at taxpayer expense,” Jean Castex told Les Échos.
How much will the tests cost?
PCR and antigen tests will not cost the same. The government published the tariffs on Wednesday. “The prices to be paid will be identical to those currently covered by Health Insurance”, he indicates, and they vary according to the type of test, the professional who carries it out, the day and the place.
Read alsoPCR tests will cost 44 euros and minimum antigens 22 euros from October 15
Free tests: for whom?
Not everyone will have to put their hands in their pockets to get tested. Will still be able to benefit from a reimbursement from Social Security:
Be careful though: the people concerned will have to present proof to be reimbursed, whether it is a vaccination certificate, an identity document for minors or a medical prescription.
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Specific rates for overseas territories
A small subtlety: the end of free tests applies differently in overseas territories. In Mayotte, the tests will remain free, “given the fragility of the local screening system”. In Reunion, the price of tests will be set at 27.16 euros on weekdays, and 32.16 euros on Sundays. And, in Guyana, Martinique and Guadeloupe, free access will stop “on the date of the end of the health emergency”.
What about self-tests?
Please note that self-tests can no longer be used to validate a health pass from October 15. "Self-tests carried out under the supervision of a health professional will no longer be recognized", specified the Ministry of Health at the beginning of October, adding that "this device had indeed been deployed temporarily during the summer, in order to support the extension of the use of the health pass”.
What is the difference between PCR tests and antigen tests?
The PCR and antigen tests are all carried out by taking a sample from the bottom of the nose, called nasopharyngeal, using a swab. Where PCR is more reliable and requires laboratory analysis, with a result returned within 24 to 72 hours, the antigen test is less sensitive and returns its verdict quickly, in 15 to 30 minutes.
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Health authorities advise people with contact and asymptomatic cases to give priority to antigenic tests. They are also recommended for symptomatic people who have had symptoms for less than four days.
A PCR test is more appropriate for those whose symptoms appeared more than four days ago.
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How do I find a center to get tested?
To find a Covid-19 screening center near you, the government has made available, on the Santé.fr site, a map of all the sampling locations. A search by geolocation is possible. For each screening point, detailed information is given, such as contact details, schedules, or even the terms of access and making appointments.
SEE ALSO – Jean Castex announces the end of reimbursement for Covid tests on October 15.