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New regulation sets maximum price for coronavirus tests

Credit: Belga

From 1 July, the maximum price for both PCR and rapid antigen tests will be defined by government regulation until September.

The new regulation will set a maximum price for PCR test, which can cost a maximum of €55 (today these tests can cost up to €70), and a rapid antigen test, which will cost a maximum of €120 between July and September, Federal Health Minister Frank Vandenbroucke confirmed on Tuesday on Radio 2.

He added that in certain cases, including when someone feels ill, when returning from a red zone, or when getting tested as a result of a high-risk contact, the PCR tests will be free, as it is now.

The government had previously announced that both children aged between 6 to 17 years old and adults who have not had the chance to be fully vaccinated against the coronavirus will receive a code to get two free PCR tests during the summer.

This means that, if the country someone is travelling to requires them to be vaccinated, but they have not yet had the chance to receive their doses, they can get tested for free twice until September.

“You can request a free PCR test twice during the summer months, from 1 July to the end of September, for any reason, for example, to go to a big festival or to travel abroad. Unless you already had the chance to get vaccinated, because vaccination is also free of charge, of course,” Vandenbroucke.

From 1 July, travelling to and from red zones within the EU will be possible with the European Digital Covid Certificate, of which the final discussions on the European Union level are expected to be finalised soon, the government announced last Friday.

“If you are a Belgian resident and you return from a red zone (in the EU), you can do so with that certificate without further obligations,” Prime Minister Alexander De Croo said.

“The condition is that you have been fully vaccinated for at least two weeks (two shots, except with the single-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine), or that you can present a negative PCR test or a recovery certificate,” De Croo added.