A number of Austrian pharmacies will provide free antigen rapid tests for SARS-CoV-2 from Monday as part of a pilot scheme.
The news was announced by the President of the Chamber of Pharmacists, Ulrike Mursch-Edlmayr, in a press conference at the Federal Chancellery on Friday.
The list of participating pharmacies will be available on the website of the Chamber of Pharmacists from Monday, with the number of participating pharmacies to be expanded in the coming weeks.
The test results can be used by customers of hairdressers and other services which open on Monday as part of a planned easing of lockdown measures.
Around 20 percent of Austrian pharmacies already offer paid-for rapid tests, according to Mursch-Edlmayr.
In the future, these should be available free of charge, although registration is required.
Wiener Zeitung reported The Pensioners' Association of Austria (PVÖ) and the Senior Citizens Association welcomed this step, and quoted Seniors' Association President Ingrid Korosec saying it would allow senior citizens to participate ”more actively in public life again”.
Pensioners' Association President Peter Kostelka called for self-tests to be recognised in the case of customers of mobile hairdressers and other mobile service providers who visit older people at home.
From 15th February, there will also be reimbursement of costs for in-house tests for the coronavirus.
This was announced by Economics Minister Margarete Schramböck on Friday at a joint press conference with Health Minister Rudolf Anschober.
There will be a grant of €10 for each antigen test carried out, which must be offset afterwards.
From Monday, companies that offer such tests can register on the website of the Chamber of Commerce (WKÖ) to be reimbursed.