for whom and how?

Since Monday January 3, 2022, the isolation protocol put in place to curb the Omicron variant has evolved. The government is relying on self-tests. Who and how can you get it for free in Burgundy?

In 2022, the government took a resolution: to reduce the period of isolation in the event of exposure to Covid. Its new strategy is based on self-tests. With a promise: they will be given to you free of charge by your pharmacist.

But it is not that simple.

Fully vaccinated people

If you are a “contact case” and your vaccination schedule is complete, you must now do an RT-PCR test as soon as you are informed by Health Insurance or by your contact. If this first test is negative, no need for isolation but you will still have to do two self-tests. The first will take place two days after your last contact with the Covid-19 positive person and the second, 4 days after this last contact.

In this case, you can have the self-tests delivered to you “free of charge” by your pharmacist upon presentation of the result of the RT-PCR test or the antigen test.

“When people come to see me for an antigen test, I now advise them to wait for the result outside the door” explains the Plombières-lès-Dijon pharmacist, Pierre-Olivier Variot.

If the test result is negative, customers can pick up both self-tests immediately.

Pierre-Olivier Variot, pharmacist in Plombières-lès-Dijon (21)

Advice that has become essential since Wednesday when the Sidep server which normally sends test results by SMS is experiencing serious failures.

As of Tuesday, pharmacists had alerted to another problem : many “contact cases” could not present an official email or text message from Health Insurance because the contact tracing system can no longer keep up with the rate of contamination (From now on, if you have not been notified by Health Insurance but by a friend or a family member, you can complete a sworn statement for free self-tests.

I formulated this request on Tuesday because it was necessary to find a quick support solution” explains Pierre-Emmanuel Variot, president of the Union of Community Pharmacists (USPO). According to him, many pharmacists have copies of the certificate on site.

Self-tests are not free. They are taken care of. There is always someone paying.

Pierre-Olivier Variot, President of the Union of Community Pharmacists

Health Insurance will check afterwards that you were indeed in a chain of contamination and can re-invoice you for the tests if this is not the case.

Less than 12 years

With the start of the school year, a new protocol has also been put in place in schools. If a case is detected in a class, students under the age of 12 will only be able to return to class after a negative PCR test.

To receive these two tests free of charge from the pharmacist, it will be necessary, as for those over 12 years of age vaccinated, to present the result of the negative PCR test and the duly completed sworn statement.

National Education clarified this Thursday evening that the 3 tests are valid for 7 days even if a new case of Covid is detected in the class during this period in order to avoid an exponential multiplication of the number of tests.

Pharmacists in Côte d’Or are however faced with a glaring lack of self-tests. “We did not expect the large distribution to carry out such predation on self-tests explains Pierre-Olivier Variot. “We are reduced to day-to-day management as demand explodes.”

This Thursday, September 6, 2022, the pharmacist has already carried out 70 antigenic tests in the morning. So many customers who must obtain self-tests to follow the protocol.

Staff in contact with students

As the Ministry of National Education specifies on its website, the case of teachers, AESH, and all staff in contact with students is separate. They can receive antigenic self-tests distributed directly in schools.

Personal service professionals

The approximately 600,000 professionals who work with the elderly and people with disabilities can receive up to ten free self-tests each month.

This concerns, for example, home helpers, home nursing employees and foster carers. They will have to present their professional card to the pharmacist.

Paid self-tests

Several cases cannot benefit from free self-tests.

People who are not vaccinated or who have an incomplete vaccination schedule will have to pay. According to the new protocol in force, unvaccinated people must isolate themselves for 7 days if they are “contact cases” and must do a PCR test at the end of this quarantine week. If they want to perform a self-test at another time, it will be at their expense.

You can also do self-tests as soon as you have any doubts about your possible contamination or before a meeting with family or friends. This citizen reflex is considered a test of comfort and will have to be paid for.

If you choose to buy self-tests in supermarkets when you are eligible for “free” self-tests, you will have to pay for your test. The shortage of tests in pharmacies will therefore not be a reason to present a supermarket invoice to the Health Insurance.