Free antigen testing before Christmas

Prime Minister Andrej Babiš (ANO) would like Czechs to have the opportunity to undergo testing for Covid-19 before Christmas for free.

The testing could happen ten days to a week prior to the holidays. So-called antigen tests would be used - they are about ten times cheaper but less reliable than the commonly used PCR method. The results are available within 15 minutes.

According to Babiš, this plan is only feasible if the Czech Republic manages to get to the third level of the anti-epidemic PES scale. From Monday, the country is at level four. The Army could help with the testing.

A spokeswoman for the Ministry of Health told Radiožurnál that the testing could take place from around December 18 and last two weeks. The tests are to be bought by hospitals and would then be covered by public health insurance. The testing is supposed to prevent a rise in the number of new cases after the New Year, when people will return to work after the holidays.