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29 Jun 2022

Government still examining subsidised antigen tests

Government still examining subsidised anitgen tests

Finance Minister Paschal Donohoe has said work is ongoing on the issue of cost, availability and supply

The Government has said it is still continuing to examine the possibility of subsidising the cost of antigen tests but no decision has been made on the principle or the detail.

Finance Minister Paschal Donohoe has said work is ongoing on the issue of cost, availability and supply, adding the Minister for Health Stephen Donnelly has been asked to consider the options and bring that to Government.

Minister Donohoe said the cost is likely to be a very good investment in the context of the economic harm done by Covid-19 and hopes the Government will finalise the issue soon while the possibility of the retail sector playing a part in providing subsidised antigen tests is also being examined.

The initial plan was to confine the sale of more affordable tests, priced between €2 to €3, to pharmacies, however, there is now a possibility that the subsidised tests could be made available in a wider variety of shops.

Micheál Martin told the Dáil that there is a role for regular antigen testing in households adding that the testing "has to be done in a routine way, not symptomatic, I think that's the key point".

The National Public Health Emergency Team (NPHET) is due to meet on Thursday 25 to assess how the new restrictions are affecting the case numbers but as of now, there are no expectations that new restrictions will be recommended.

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