NEWS

Price put on rapid tests unrealistic, say diagnostic centers

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The 10-euro price tag assigned by the government to the coronavirus tests thousands of unvaccinated professionals and university students will have to take on a regular basis to go to work and attend classes is unrealistic, a group of unions representing diagnostic centers and facilities has said in an announcement.

“It is impossible to carry out a rapid test at a cost of 10 euros, because this price is below operation costs, which are at least 12 euros for the average diagnostic lab,” the Coordinating Body of Primary Healthcare unions said on Thursday.

It said that it estimates new public health safety regulations to lead to an increase in demand for rapid tests at private diagnostic facilities from around 50,000 a day to 250,000, adding that testing centers will have to invest in more staff and equipment to keep up.

The announcement was issued after the government on Tuesday said that private and public sector workers who have not been vaccinated against Covid-19 or do not have a certificate of recovery from the disease will have to take one rapid test a week before they are allowed to go to work. 

Two tests per week, meanwhile, will be required for people working in academia, tourism, restaurants, cafes, bars, and in entertainment productions.

Government officials had also said that the rapid tests would cost 10 euros, which is around half what they cost now.

The government added that free tests at public facilities would be restricted only to people who have been vaccinated and to those showing symptoms of the disease.

The new measures go into effect on September 13.