Germany has decided to no longer provide citizens with free tests paid for by the state, with a move that serves on the one hand to save public money, on the other hand to try to push all those who have not yet done so to get vaccinated. It is “a question of fairness for taxpayers”, said the health minister, Jens Spahn, underlining that “all people who have been recommended and who wanted to get vaccinated have been able to do it”, and recalling that the tests remain free for minors, who are not recommended the vaccine, those who are exempt for medical reasons, in hospitals , in schools, in homes for the elderly.
In fact, even for the workers the tampons will remain asleep, since, although it is not necessary to have the Green Pass (which in Germany is called CovPass) to work, companies are obliged to provide at least two quick tests a week to their employees who request it. And so an unvaccinated citizen could ask the company to be tested, and then take advantage of the possibly negative result of the swab to go to the cinema, concert or indoor restaurant in the evening, where instead the Green Pass is mandatory.
Currently in the nation of over 80 million, 77 percent of the population has received both injections and 81 at least one. The vaccines have now been offered to the entire population and therefore only those who did not want it did not receive it. For them the state no longer wants to spend money, also because the cost of the program started in March was considerable: the Rapid tests, the rapid tests offered to all citizens, weighed 5.2 billion euros on the government’s coffers. The hope is therefore that to avoid having to test themselves regularly and at their own expense, citizens will choose to do the dose.
And another measure to push them to do so was the decision to no longer pay sick days to all those who, not vaccinated, will be infected with Covid-19. For them, starting from November 1st, the salary will no longer be paid for the days in which they will be absent from the place of employment. Until now it was the state that also took care of this expense, and even in this case the government said enough. “Why would others pay for someone deciding not to get vaccinated,” Health Minister Spahn said.
“Paid tampons will push many more citizens to inject, because they will want to avoid being tested regularly,” said the head of health of the Social Democrats. Karl Lauterbach. The radical left of Die Linke, however, criticized the end of the program arguing that “it will make it more difficult to trace the chains of infection and the development of the incidence of infection – and this does not help anyone”, said the leader. Janine Wissler, according to which “in the end, this is more expensive than offering the tests”.
PCR tests prescribed by doctors or the public health department are not affected by the changes, so those with symptoms from Covid will continue to receive them for free. The cost of the tests at centers throughout the country is set by private suppliers and generally the fast ones are sold at figures ranging from 12 to 50 euros while the PCR between 44 and 100. Last week the football team of ‘ Herta Berlin had made a decision similar to that of the government by stipulating that its unvaccinated footballers and staff members would have to pay for themselves for the tests, which according to the German League regulations must be done twice a week while the club, for greater precaution, he established six times a week. Of course, with the earnings ensured by high-level professional football, it will certainly not be a problem for the players, but it is a symbolic gesture.