Germany stops offering free COVID-19 tests

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BERLIN — As vaccinations are generally freely available to citizens in Germany, free COVID-19 testing will no longer be offered as of Monday.

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Individuals who cannot be vaccinated and for whom there is no general recommendation for vaccination continue to receive free rapid antigen testing, according to the government. Free COVID-19 testing, for example, will still be available for children under 12.

Minister of Health Jens Spahn defended the move. „Fairness to the taxpayer makes it necessary to abolish free test for citizens,“ he told the Funke Mediengruppe on Sunday.

The Robert Koch Institute for disease control and prevention (RKI) registered on Monday 3,111 positive COVID-19 tests within 24 hours. The incidence rate of new infections per 100,000 people climbed to a two-week high at 66.5.

To date, almost 54.27 million people in Germany have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19, bringing the country’s vaccination rate to 65.3 percent, according to the RKI. 

— Agencies

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