Free citizen tests will soon be a thing of the past for many – fuss about the Corona autumn strategy

The free citizen tests for everyone should soon be a thing of the past. Image: dpa central image / Sebastian Kahnert

06/22/2022, 11:09 am06/22/2022, 15:19

On the one hand, Minister of Health Karl Lauterbach is swearing in the population to the next wave of corona, on the other hand, he wants to significantly limit access to free citizen tests. Only patients with symptoms should be eligible, as well as other selected groups of people such as small children and pregnant women. Some don’t like it at all.

The tests are still free for special groups of people

The free offer to all citizens is only fixed until the end of June. From then on, it is expected that only people with symptoms will be tested, according to the ministry’s “Corona Autumn Strategy”. However, there are also exceptions. Free preventive tests in nursing homes and hospitals as well as for “people with increased contact exposure” are still possible, for example before major events.

With the abolition of the free corona citizen tests, the overview of the current infection process is likely to have increasing gaps.

With the abolition of the free corona citizen tests, the overview of the current infection process is likely to have increasing gaps.Image: dpa / Marcus Brandt

Pregnant women in the first trimester and refugees from Ukraine can continue to be tested without having to pay for it themselves. If there are corona hotspots, people from these areas can also be tested again free of charge.

There has been criticism for the abolition of free citizen tests

This new strategy is accompanied by a lot of criticism. Numerous people have expressed doubts about the usefulness of the tactic on Twitter.

Something Andreas Wagner, former member of the Bundestag and curative education nurse, reported on Twitter. He thinks that citizen tests should remain free for everyone. He cited the protection of vulnerable groups of people as the reason: “In order to protect particularly vulnerable people in their environment and to make encounters with them as safe as possible”.

Another Twitter user warned of the danger of discrimination against people affected by poverty. He tweeted: “Abolition of citizen testing or what I call ‘if we don’t look it’s not that bad’. Millions of people living in poverty cannot afford self-testing and I already predict that self-test prices will double.”

Another user sees it similarly, causing a stir with a prophecy that is strongly reminiscent of what has happened in recent years: “We are now restricting the free citizen tests when the number of infections increases, so that in a few months we can be completely surprised again and that no one could have guessed.”

It’s clear: With the abolition of the free corona citizen tests, the overview of the current infection process is likely to have increasing gaps.

Despite restrictions: Test infrastructure should continue to be maintained

However, the corona tests are not completely out of the world. An easily accessible test infrastructure, including in pharmacies, should be maintained, reported the “RND”. In the future, however, the federal government wants to pay the test centers less money per antigen rapid test and PCR test for the citizens.

The reason for the new strategy is probably primarily of a financial nature. “The overall costs are to be reduced by about half,” the ministry wrote in its strategy paper.

Federal Health Minister Karl Lauterbach has meanwhile confirmed his plan to move away from free tests for everyone. You have to limit the citizen tests a bitsaid the SPD politician before the conference of health ministers on Wednesday in Magdeburg.

Avoid abuse of the free citizen tests through quality control

In the past, tests were billed for that were not carried out and tests were carried out that were not necessary. Better quality control is needed, emphasized Lauterbach.

According to the Federal Minister of Health, the test offer should in future be geared more towards those “who actually need the test”.. In particular, those who visit people in care facilities should be protected. In addition, tests should be possible before major events.

He reproached the states that they wanted to continue having the free tests, but did not want to share in the costs.

Karl Lauterbach reproaches the federal states for not wanting to contribute to the costs of the citizen tests.

Karl Lauterbach reproaches the federal states for not wanting to contribute to the costs of the citizen tests.Image: dpa / Michael Kappeler

Lauterbach wants to start a new vaccination strategy from September. Then an “adapted vaccination campaign” should be carried out in order to promote the fourth vaccination “especially in the older population group”.

The number of infections has recently risen again

Most recently, pressure on the federal government had grown from the federal states to quickly create a legal basis for further protective requirements in the event of a new corona wave in autumn. Baden-Württemberg, Bavaria, Hesse and North Rhine-Westphalia called for an amendment to the Infection Protection Act to be presented before the summer break before the two-day consultation of the health ministers this Wednesday. The number of infections has recently risen again.

Federal Minister of Justice Marco Buschmann (FDP) rejected demands from the federal states to quickly create a legal basis for further corona restrictions. There is a “well-considered and serious schedule” from the federal government, which all prime ministers agreed to at their last conference, he told the “RND”. On June 30, the committee of independent experts will present its report evaluating the pandemic measures. You don’t want to anticipate that.

(ast / with material from dpa)

“Just because alcohol is dangerous – undisputedly – cannabis doesn’t make broccoli – okay?”, that is probably the best-known quote from former drug commissioner Daniela Ludwig (CSU). Your successor Burkhard Blienert (SPD) sees it differently. “I look ahead, not back,” he explains to watson, referring to his predecessor. Blienert is committed to the legalization of cannabis. He is the Federal Government Commissioner for Addiction and Drug Issues.

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