Free antigen testing starting

From December 16, people in Czechia can get tested for coronavirus for free - but some places are already booked through Christmas.

The testing is covered by the public health insurance. In addition to sampling points, some general practitioners or dentists are also taking part in it. The government recommends people to get tested before Christmas and visiting relatives.

The interest of the public has been great - causing some places to be booked through the holidays already. You can find free capacities through this central database (in Czech) - however, it does not yet include all possible sampling points. The general practitioners will only test their patients and possibly their contacts.

The antigen tests that will be used are considered to be less accurate than the commonly used PCR method - but they are faster and cheaper. According to a study by the Karviná-Ráj Hospital and the Medical Institute in Ostrava, these tests are 90% effective in detecting people with a live virus who could infect others.