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Germany could cancel free coronavirus tests this fall

The issue of free coronavirus tests is one of the items on the agenda during Tuesday’s meeting between Chancellor Angela Merkel and state leaders. According to the RND, which received a decision document before the meeting, the tests are expected to cost money in the future, which some critics see as a disadvantage for those who choose not to vaccinate.

“Given that vaccinations are available to all citizens, there is no longer any justification for the federal government, and therefore taxpayers, to cover the costs of all examinations,” the draft reads.

Testing still matters

About 63 percent of Germans received a first injection, while 55 percent of the population received a full vaccination. At the same time, the vaccination campaign lost its momentum.

CDU Chairman Armin Laschet recently laid out new coronavirus policy guidelines for the party, including that testing must continue to play an important role in stopping the spread of infection in the country.

“The state should not prevent anyone who has been vaccinated, recovered or tested themselves from participating in society,” he said in an interview with Bild am Sonntag newspaper this weekend.

Laschet has previously been accused of unclear and incoherent policies during the pandemic.

Two birds with one stone

Rumors about canceling free tests have been circulating for a long time. At the end of July, Bild newspaper reported that many hawkish ministers in Merkel’s government saw an opportunity to hit two pages: cutting government spending and at the same time increasing the waning desire for vaccinations.

It is expected that free tests will continue to be offered to people who cannot be vaccinated against the coronavirus for health reasons.

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Facts: Covid-19 in Germany

Germany, with a population of 83 million, has a low prevalence of infection compared to Europe. However, it has increased somewhat recently, especially in the north.

The country performed better than many similar countries during the first wave of the epidemic in the spring of 2020. During the fall of 2020, the number of new infections and deaths increased sharply, causing a very difficult situation around Christmas when the second wave reached its peak.

After a few weeks of decline, the spread of infection resumed in a third wave in mid-February, to decline again at the end of April.

Since the beginning of the pandemic, nearly 3.8 million cases have been confirmed in Germany. About 91,800 people died. About 63 percent of Germans received their first dose of the vaccine and 55 percent of the population is currently fully vaccinated.

Source: RKI, TT