Thursday 28 October 2021

Free Covid testing for travellers comes to an end on Friday

Photo: Brandon Hartley

Travelers who are not fully vaccinated will no longer be entitled to free coronavirus tests from Friday October 1.

The tests had been free during the summer months to ease the finacial burden on holidaymakers.

Free testing was supposed to end on August 31 but was extended by a month because the government felt that not everyone had been in a position to get fully vaccinated and tests were still needed to go abroad.

Travellers will now have to turn to commercial providers, whose prices can vary. The quick antigen test is around the €35 to €40 mark at most providers while PCR tests are offered for between €80 and €95.

Loophole

In principle, people who get a free test via the Testen voor Toegang site, for instance to go to a concert, or a free PCR test at a health board location because they have symptoms, will also be able to generate an international QR code.

‘That is not without its problems,’ health ministry spokeswoman Annerijn Vink told RTL Nieuws. ‘First of all, this is not what the Testen voor Toegang site is for and secondly you don’t know which test you will be given, an antigen or a PCR test. And countries specifically ask for either one or the other.’

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