How much does a Covid test cost around the world? | Coronavirus | The Guardian

In Australia, a federal scheme introduced at the end of January allows pensioners and concession card holders to access up to 10 free rapid antigen tests for three months through their pharmacy. but the scheme got off to a rocky start, with supply problems hampering attempts to acquire the tests. In January, the competition regulator raised concerns that rapid antigen tests often cost $20-$30 (£15-£20) per test and sometimes more than $70 per test via smaller retail outlets, even though wholesale costs range from $3.95 to $11.45.

in belgium the price of an antigen self-test sold in pharmacies is around €6-€8 (£5-£7), more expensive than in neighboring countries, such as France and the holanda, although they are available in Belgian supermarkets for around €3. prices have fallen and are expected to fall further: a large pharmacy chain announced this week that it had started selling tests for €1.99. While a PCR test, which costs around €41, is free for people with symptoms, or can be reimbursed by health insurance, self-tests generally have to be funded by individuals. Belgian consumer association test-achats/test aankoop estimated this week that a family of four could spend €250 a month on covid tests, hand sanitiser and face masks.

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self-administered tests in france cost between €4 and €5 in pharmacies and around €1.25 in supermarket multipacks. lateral flow tests and pcr tests administered in pharmacies, laboratories and testing centers (which give you a result with a qr code that allows you to travel, for example) are free for everyone who is registered in the health system French and with all the vaccines. people who are not in the system (tourists, for example) and those who are not fully vaccinated pay about €25 for a lateral flow and up to €45 for a pcr.

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Germany abolished its free rapid coronavirus testing system, used by Germans to enter places like theaters and soccer stadiums, in October. unvaccinated people, except pregnant women, children, or those inadvisable for medical reasons, had to pay for the tests. the hope was that people would no longer rely on the testing system as a way to avoid getting a vaccine. however, a month later, free testing was reintroduced as authorities struggled to curb rapidly rising infection rates.

in south africa rapid antigen tests are sold for 380 zar (18.50 pounds sterling) and pcr tests double that figure.

Test regimens vary among the 17 autonomous regions of Spain. In the Madrid region, the government has so far distributed 5 million free antigen tests that can be collected from pharmacies in and around the capital. In mid-January, the Spanish government capped the price of antigen tests for sale in pharmacies at €2.94. Before the limit was introduced, test kits sold for around €10 and were not always available.

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In thailand, antigen test kits are sold online, in convenience stores and pharmacies, with prices starting at around 50 baht (£1.13). The government has also started selling antigen tests for 35 baht (79p) at eight locations in Bangkok and online. if you want to travel to a tourist destination, you may need to take a test before entering, and this can be more expensive. The cost of PCR tests ranges from 1,300 baht in some areas to 4,500 baht.

In the united states, the cost of and access to rapid antigen and pcr tests vary considerably depending on where you live and what, if any, health insurance you have. A rapid antigen test can cost around $15 (£11) at a pharmacy or supermarket, but since January there has been a huge increase in free testing sites across the country, as well as millions of test kits for schools. . PCR tests are available at private clinics and cost $100 or more, but you can also get them for free at some hospitals and clinics, although access is highly variable. Since January 15, private health insurance companies are required to cover the costs of up to eight rapid tests at home. For the roughly 28 million without health insurance, the Biden administration said it would buy 1 billion free tests, which people could order online or at local health clinics and pharmacies, though it’s unclear how many have been obtained and distributed so far.

reporting by jennifer rankin, sam jones, jon henley, rebecca ratcliffe, jason burke and nina lakhani

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