Covid-19 in France

French PM Castex confirms Covid tests won't be reimbursed from mid-October

Covid-19 mobile tent testing area is pictured in front of a pharmacy near Gare de Lyon train station in Paris.
Covid-19 mobile tent testing area is pictured in front of a pharmacy near Gare de Lyon train station in Paris. © Reuters/Benoît Tessier

Covid screening tests will no longer be free in France from 15th of October, the prime minister Jean Castex has confirmed. Only those carried out on medical prescription will be reimbursed by French healthcare.

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"It is no longer legitimate to pay for excessive comfort tests at the expense of taxpayers," said Castex in an interview with daily newspaper Les Echos.

The Covid tests carried out for medical reasons will always be reimbursed "either without a prescription for people who have already been vaccinated, or with a prescription for others. We also want to maintain free access for minors," he added.

"The logic is to reimburse tests linked to real medical reasons, and to continue to encourage people to be vaccinated", explained Castex.

During his speech on 12th of July, Emmanuel Macron announced that "comfort" tests would be charged for in the autumn. 

The measure is supposed to encourage vaccination, but also to reduce the bill, which cost 2.2 billion euros in 2020 and for which 4.9 billion are planned this year.

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