France drops free Covid tests for unvaccinated in bid to boost jab drive

Paris, Oct 15 (EFE).- The French government from Friday will stop subsidizing Covid tests for unvaccinated residents in a bid to boost its vaccination drive.

Until now, PCR and rapid tests were free in France.

The health ministry has set the price of PCR tests for unvaccinated adults at 44 euros ($51), while rapid antigen tests cost 22 euros when carried out in a laboratory or 25 euros in a pharmacy.

Unvaccinated symptomatic adults who have a doctor’s prescription for a test can avoid the fee.

The government is hoping to save around €3.4 billion with the new measure.

In July, president Emmanuel Macron announced that tests would no longer be free for unvaccinated people and also announced the use of Covid health passes to access most public closed spaces.

Health care workers and people who work with those at risk of the disease have to prove they have been vaccinated.

Since the measures were announced in the summer, 20 million French people have been immunized.

There are still some 6 million adults who have not yet been vaccinated.

According to the health ministry, 95 million PCR tests and 40 million antigen tests were conducted between March 2020 and August 2021.

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