The government is planning how to make it easier for citizens to travel during the summer. The price of PCR tests should drop to CZK 640, and citizens will be entitled to two PCR or antigen tests for free during the summer. Photo Credit: Freepik / Illustrative Photo.
Czech Rep., May 20 (BD) – Pavla Svrčinová, the Chief Hygienist of the Czech Republic, has announced that the state will reduce the fees that insurance companies should pay for coronavirus tests. She specified that the price of PCR tests will be reduced to CZK 640, with two tests available free of charge over the summer for those who are insured. Insurance companies currently pay CZK 350 for one antigen test carried out at a sampling point, and CZK 1,300 for a PCR test.
The state will pay for two PCR or antigen tests per month during the summer. According to Prime Minister Andrej Babis, the proposal should cover both domestic travelers and Czechs heading abroad, including all people over the age of six who have not yet been vaccinated or who have not recently been infected.
Health Minister Petr Arenberger also mentioned a plan to reduce the frequency of testing. Since February, tests have been available once every three days. Arenberger wants to motivate people to get vaccinated by providing less frequent free antigen testing.
“There will always be some state support, but it’s easier to just get vaccinated and show that you can come in,” explained Arenberger.
However, epidemiologists warn that this is a risky step, as summer travels will be a crucial factor and, for this reason, it is necessary to set up a strict testing regime for those returning to the Czech Republic.
“If we stopped testing before the summer, it would be like a pilot turning off the engine during a flight,” warned Petr Smejkal, who heads the MeSES group, with which the Ministry of Health terminated cooperation on Monday.