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France: Non-Essential Travellers May Soon Have to Pay for COVID-19 Testing

Health authorities in France are urging to charge fees for COVID-19 tests taken for non-essential travel reasons in a bid to increase vaccination rates, reports. A decision is expected in the next two months to September.

And government spokesman, Gabriel Attal, acknowledged that this issue would be discussed.

He added, “I am not making an announcement here, but the question of stopping the payment may be raised.”

The statement came on the heels of the National Academy of Medicine’s recommendation to charge people using tourism tests, as cases of the highly contagious delta variant increased in France recently. Currently, anyone who wants to take a test can do so without being charged.

The academy advised to “suspend reimbursement for tests taken for personal convenience” (such as obtaining an EU COVID-19 passport or cross-border travel) in order to “rapidly increase the level of national immunization coverage during the summer”.

Among the factors that can prevent individuals from being vaccinated, we should question the frequent use of RT-PCR or antigen tests, which are offered free of charge in France unlike most European countries, the academy wrote in a press release earlier this week. “. .

On the other hand, the Minister of Health, Olivier Veran, said he would be open to the idea.

“It is an option that is being considered. Not immediately, because we currently need everyone to be able to be tested, and it is to the credit of our country that there are no financial obstacles to getting tested,” the minister said.

He also added that there will be a debate on whether going to a nightclub or similar venues with a suitability test is necessary to pay from the public budget.

“I am very open to discussions about this,” he said.

But the decision cannot be made until all those wishing to be vaccinated receive their injections.

“You have people who had their first dose a few weeks ago, just because they weren’t allowed to do so before, so they can’t be fully vaccinated today,” spokesperson Atal said.

According to him, it would not be appropriate to make anyone pay for the test because they are currently waiting for a full vaccination.

According to the latest official statistics, 44 deaths related to COVID-19 and 509 positive cases of the virus were detected in France in the past 24 hours. The rate of positive tests is currently 0.8 percent.

As of June 28, the number of people who have received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine is 3,3378.429 and for those who have been fully vaccinated is 2,1291,659. About 53,644 received one vaccination in the past 24 hours, and 164,673 were fully vaccinated.

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