To begin with, only kits for 500,000 to 600,000 people are available.
Thomas Veitschegger, President of the Upper Austrian Chamber of Pharmacists, has asked people not to rush to the pharmacies on the first day of the scheme.
He assured Austrians that many more self-tests will be available by mid-March, reports Austria’s Der Standard newspaper.
Anyone with an e-card aged 15 and above can obtain five self-tests free of charge.
The tests, called “nose pick” tests, are similar to those used in schools and involve using a swab to obtain a sample from the nasal cavity.
A pilot project offering employees of participating companies corona “gargle” PCR tests has also begun in Vienna.
Up to 60,000 employees and people working in the health and social sector are eligible to take part.
Employees and family members can perform a PCR self-test using the gargle method twice a week, while videoing themselves and holding an ID card or passport to confirm their identity.
The tests can be picked up from and returned to participating pharmacies and Bipa branches.
The tests are sent to a laboratory and the test result is sent by email within 24 hours. Test results can be used to visit to the hairdresser.
The service is also available in several languages.