Corona rapid self-test to become available in shops next month
The cabinet hopes that people will be able to take a rapid test for the coronavirus themselves starting next month. The idea is that the so-called antigen tests will become available to employers and for education. They will also be sold in shops for about ten euros.
The antigen test is now only used on test sites. The result is a lot faster than with a PCR test, but it is also less sensitive. As with the PCR test, saliva is taken from the nose and throat with a cotton swab. The Ministry of Health believes that self-testing can detect infections earlier in people who have no symptoms.
"This way we can cut off the virus," said Health Minister Hugo de Jonge. “To make that simpler and more accessible, we have to do things differently: not the people to the test sites, but the tests to the people. That is why we are now making it possible in the Netherlands for producers of good rapid tests to make a self-test version of it. ” Such a self-test version would then, for example, have a shorter cotton swab.
At the moment, it is not yet possible to make the tests available for personal use because they are considered medical devices. Manufacturers of rapid tests can apply for an exemption to enable use as a self-test but must meet a number of conditions for this. For example, the test must already have a European quality mark (CE), and the test must already have been found to be suitable as a self-test.
An exemption can be granted within a week. De Jonge hopes that many companies will register that want to make a self-test version of their product, “with proper instructions”.
The government will bear part of the costs for employers and in education, says De Jonge. The cost of a self-test in the supermarket will depend on the company. "That will be ten euros or so," expects De Jonge.