Since March 2021, everyone in Germany has been able to be tested for the corona virus free of charge. But the time for these so-called citizen tests is now over. From this Thursday on there will only be free tests for a few groups of people; in many cases you have to pay three euros. It’s about quick tests in test centers or pharmacies, for example, for PCR tests there are separate regulations. An overview of the new regulations:
For whom are the corona tests still free?
- Firstly, for people who cannot be vaccinated – for example children under five or pregnant women in the first trimester of their pregnancy.
- Second, people who live, work or visit someone in a clinic, facility for the disabled or care home.
- Third, people who are caring for a loved one at home or living in an apartment with someone who has Covid-19.
- And finally people who need a negative test to be able to end a corona quarantine (“free testing”). In many quarantine cases, however, this is no longer necessary.
You have to be able to prove or make credible that you belong to one of these groups of people. When visiting nursing homes or hospitals, there are often free tests on site or a corresponding confirmation from the home is presented to the test center. More detailed information can be found on the website of the Federal Ministry of Health.
Who has to pay three euros for a test now?
In some cases, the federal government thinks it makes sense for people to get tested, so that it assumes most of the costs. Then you only have to pay three euros for a quick test. These three cases are:
- If you want to attend a non-outdoor event on the same day.
- If you will have contact with a person on the same day who has a high risk of becoming seriously ill with Covid-19 – this includes people over 60 years of age and people with a disability or previous illness.
- If you have received a red warning from your Corona-Warn-App because of an increased risk of infection.
You also have to prove that – for example by presenting a concert ticket, showing the Corona app or credibly assuring that you are invited to coffee at your grandmother’s in the afternoon.
Can I pay for tests myself?
Sure, if the test center or pharmacy offers tests for self-payers.
And what do I do if I show typical symptoms of Corona?
Contact a doctor who can then do or arrange for a test for which your health insurance company will pay. And of course there is always the possibility to test yourself for the corona virus.
Are there also free PCR tests?
Yes, for example if the doctor arranges it because you are showing symptoms. Or if you have a positive rapid or self-test to confirm a possible corona infection. And in a number of other cases listed by the Ministry of Health. The fact that the Corona-Warn-App lights up red is not enough for a free PCR test.
Why is the federal government abolishing the free citizen tests?
Because they have become too expensive for him. According to Federal Minister of Health Karl Lauterbach (SPD), the expenditure for this was recently around one billion euros per month. “The federal government cannot pay for everything in the long term because our options have reached their limits,” says Federal Finance Minister Christian Lindner (FDP). That’s why the test centers are now getting less money. Namely only 9.50 euros per test, of which the tested person may pay three euros themselves and the federal government then another 6.50 euros. So far, 11.50 euros have been paid for each quick test.
What is the current corona situation in Germany?
The number of officially confirmed corona infections has been rising steeply for about a month, Health Minister Lauterbach speaks of a “summer wave”. On Thursday, the incidence value calculated by the Robert Koch Institute was 669 nationwide. However, it can be assumed that the actual numbers are higher, since only positive PCR tests are included in the statistics and not all people with a suspected corona also have a PCR -To do a test. Since the beginning of June, the number of people who have come to the hospital with Covid-19 has also increased – as has the number of patients who are in an intensive care unit because of it.