Free tests will end in December, according to the chief hygienist

Despite the worsening epidemic situation, the health ministry wants to end public insurance reimbursement for coronavirus tests. According to the Chief Czech Hygienist, this should happen from 1 December. The outgoing leadership of the ministry wants to agree on this with its successors.

“We want to reopen the debate on the reimbursement of preventive tests from public health insurance. It is a question of whether, at a time when we have fully available vaccinations that are fully covered, it is justified for the tests to be covered by public health insurance, ” Health Minister Adam Vojtěch (ANO) said on Friday.

According to Vojtěch, the ministry’s clinical group agrees with ending the reimbursement of the tests. The chief hygienist, Pavla Svrčinová, added that this should happen from 1 December this year.

Free tests for children

If an agreement is reached with SPOLU and PirSTAN coalitions representatives, which are likely to form the new government, the free preventive tests will end. However, certain exceptions are envisaged, for example, for children.

“There will be exemptions for children up to 12 years old, and we are still discussing up to 18 years old,” Svrčinová said. She added that the proposal concerns preventive tests, while tests ordered as part of an epidemiological investigation would remain free.

Other exemptions will apply, for example, to people who have already had their first dose of vaccination. According to the ministry, tests for people with symptoms or people after contact with infected people will also be free. Svrčinová said tests that can end the quarantine earlier after contact with an infected person would also not be paid.

The ministry will also move to reduce the mandatory quarantine period from 14 to seven days from 25 October in the event of termination by a negative PCR test. This should also continue to be covered by public health insurance.