Ministry of Health: Preventive Covid tests to remain free in the Czech Republic

Initially testing was to be paid for out of pocket as of September; the worsening epidemiological situation throughout Europe has led to a change in plan.


Written by ČTK Published on 23.08.2021 16:34:00 (updated on 23.08.2021) Reading time: 1 minute

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Last week it was announced that anyone over the age of 18 in the Czech Republic would pay for Covid tests; the Czech cabinet has now decided that preventive coronavirus tests will remain free for everyone, Health Minister Adam Vojtěch told journalists Monday.

The decision was motivated by the worsening epidemic development in some European countries – as of Friday, the Robert Koch Institute said the fourth wave of the coronavirus epidemic had started in Germany.

Vojtěch said asking people to pay for testing out of pocket was intended to motivate them to get vaccinated. But he said that it was impossible to ignore the current situation in Europe and that a fall in testing capacity could prove risky for the Czech Republic.

The government decided it will postpone its decision to introduce payments for preventive tests for Covid-19. Originally, it had announced that adults would pay for the tests as of September 1 with tests remaining free only to children under 18 as well as those who cannot be vaccinated for health reasons or those who have not completed vaccination as of yet.

At present, a person may undergo two PCR tests and four antigen tests for coronavirus a month for free with costs are covered by the public health insurance system.

Vojtěch also said the government does not expect to renew the obligatory regular testing in firms that were introduced in the spring. He said this testing would make sense if the coronavirus incidence rate was more than 75 new cases per 100,000 population in the past seven days.

At present, the incidence rate is 12, however, the situation is dynamic and may be different in late September, Vojtěch said.

The government has also extended the exemption from value-added tax (VAT) on respirators for another two months until the end of October.

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