State to reimburse a certain number of PCR tests, but antigen tests won’t be free

Health Ministry tasked with preparing a financial analysis.

Illustrative stock photoIllustrative stock photo (Source: TASR)

In the past couple of months, people had been able to visit a mobile testing site to take an antigen test for free. If negative, they could use the result to enter certain premises or attend certain events.

Most of these sites closed down in late June, as their contract with the Health Ministry expired. In addition, antigen tests should no longer be free, as stated by the Health Minister Vladimír Lengvarský (OĽaNO). The price of the tests should not exceed €10.

On the other hand, the state will reimburse a certain number of PCR tests per month, which people will be required to show when entering some premises (like restaurants, fitness centres, water parks or museums) or attending mass events.

A negative antigen test is currently required as an alternative to a negative PCR test, a confirmation of vaccination or a confirmation of recovering from Covid when visiting hospitals; also when visiting swimming pools, water parks or wellness centres, or attending some parties (including weddings), regardless of the tier the district is in.

Change in testing strategy

Lengvarský presented his idea to switch the focus on PCR tests and use them as an alternative to the vaccination confirmation in late June. He even prepared an amendment to the law that would introduce this practice. All these tests were to be paid from people’s pockets. The state was set to reimburse PCR tests taken after a person develops symptoms and a doctor recommends testing; after an unvaccinated person returns from abroad; or when a child attends summer camp.

Testing strategy will change. The focus should move to PCR tests Read more 

Lengvarský's efforts were stopped by Sme Rodina MPs, who opposed the idea of paying for all tests. The amendment was postponed to the next parliamentary session. Lengvarský now mentions a compromise achieved at the recent meeting of the coalition council.

“We agreed that [the ministry] will submit a financial analysis on performing antigen and PCR tests next Monday,” he said, adding that it should include the requirements of Sme Rodina.

They will subsequently discuss the options and if they strike a deal, Lengvarský hopes the amendment will be passed in parliament.

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