Vienna to roll out free coronavirus 'gurgle tests' next week

Vienna to roll out free coronavirus 'gurgle tests' next week
People with FFP2 protective face masks wait in front of a pharmacy in the well-known shopping street Mariahilferstrasse in Vienna on February 8, 2021 for a free antigen quick test. - Austria has ended the hard lockdown today and allowed services with the mandatory use of FFP2 protective masks and a negative coronavirus rapid antigen test. (Photo by ALEX HALADA / AFP)

The Mayor of Vienna has announced all people working or living in Vienna can be regularly tested for the coronavirus free of charge using a PCR "Gurgeltest". 


Vienna’s Mayor Michael Ludwig announced on Friday the test project Alles Gurgelt (everyone gurgles) will be extended to allow everyone in Vienna to take four free PCR gargle tests  (Gurgeltests) per week.

As of next week, a total of 200,000 tests per day will be available for residents of the city. 

The tests can be collected and returned at participating  BIPA and other REWE stores, which include Billa, Merkur and Penny as well as at the petrol station shops BP-Merkur Inside, Jet-Billa Stop & Shop and Shell-Billa Unterwegs.


Tests can be used to visit the hairdresser

The tests are carried out at home, and involve gargling with a saline solution for 60 seconds before collecting the liquid in a test tube to be returned for testing.

If you drop off your sample before 9am, you can get your test result within 24 hours.

The tests can also be used to visit a hairdresser or any other businesses with a test requirement, if you video yourself gargling and send the appropriate proof of ID to the online platform. 

EXPLAINED: What is Austria’s test requirement to visit hairdressers?

According to laboratory partner Life Brains representative Michel Havel, the tests used for Alles Gurgelt are more than 98 percent accurate. 

More information on the free testing scheme is available here. 


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