Covid: with the end of the vaccine pass on March 14, are the tests still affordable for the unvaccinated?

Jean Castex announced on Thursday March 3 the end of wearing a mask indoors and the suspension of the vaccination pass from March 14. But questions remain, especially around the tests, as a health pass will be required in certain cases. We make an inventory.

Found a little freedom on March 14th. On March 3, the government decided to relax health measures in France. Invited to the TF1 1pm news set last Thursday, Prime Minister Jean Castex announced that the lifting of the vaccination pass and wearing the mask indoors would take place on Monday 14 March. From this date it is therefore possible to leave your mask indoors and no longer show your vaccination pass where it is currently required (with a few exceptions).

Return of the health card

The health pass is back, but not everywhere! This pass – which can be obtained with a vaccination certificate, a negative test result or a recovery certificate – will still be needed to access certain places (from 12 years): hospitals (except emergency admission), rest homes and institutions for people with disabilities “to protect the most vulnerable of our fellow citizens while the virus continues to circulate,” the government says.

You don’t have to show a pass, whatever it is, to go to a restaurant, cafe, concert or even a nightclub.

What tests are accepted to obtain a valid health pass?

The DGS tells our colleagues: RTL alone PCR, antigen or self-tests under the supervision of a health professional make it possible to obtain this health pass even after 14 March. Among other things, the screening conditions remain the same as we know now.

How long do they remain valid?

From March 14, obtaining a health pass through a negative screening test will be reduced: 24 hours from the date of collection† If the person needs a health pass again after this time, they will have to take another test and it will be negative.

Are the tests affordable?

They are intended for people whose vaccination schedule is not complete, the ministry points out to our colleagues. Exception: “Minors, with a contraindication to vaccination, identified in the context of contact tracing carried out by the health insurance company or TousAntiCovid, who are involved in collective screening campaigns – organized for example by the regional health authorities or within national educational institutions – who receive a medical prescription or a certificate of recovery of less than six months”. The latter will therefore be able to benefit from the tests for free.

How much will the tests cost?

Since February 15, the prices of tests performed in pharmacies have been revised downwards. People who are not fully vaccinated pay €20 for an antigen test (compared to €25 before), except for screenings on Sundays or in pharmacies on duty. For a self-test sold in pharmacies, it costs €3.35 for an adult and €4.10 for a self-test for children. The prices of PCR tests carried out in the laboratory, meanwhile, remain unchanged: count 44 € for a so-called “comfort” test.

These prices are likely to fall again very soon. According to the site The Pharmacist of France, a further cut in the prices of self-tests and antigen tests is expected in mid-March.