Corona tests have experienced a real boom in recent months: at the end of October, Germany was recording more than a million tests per week. This pushes many laboratories and their test capacities to their limits.
In order to remedy the situation, the Robert Koch Institute has once again focused its national test strategy on well-founded suspected cases. In addition to patients with corona symptoms or contact with a sick person, this also includes users of the corona warning app if such a warning is displayed to them.
But travelers must also submit a negative test for the destination country. Anyone who needs negative evidence for their vacation must therefore be tested privately – and expect significant price differences.
Doctors’ practices can refer to the fee schedule and the minimum price for private laboratory services of 128.23 euros stipulated therein. In contrast, the prices of some laboratories are significantly lower – partly because of the high level of competition, partly because of the possibility of analyzing large quantities of samples at the same time. Other providers, on the other hand, set their prices significantly higher, with prices well over a hundred euros. Laboratories, on the other hand, charge health insurers around 39 euros for a PCR test arranged by a doctor.
Many German vacationers and travelers abroad are also dependent on private providers. There the costs vary significantly between under 50 euros up to several 100 euros – often also depending on the waiting time for the test result.
This is how expensive private corona tests are in other countries
@imago images / Zuma Wire
Compared to Germany, the costs for a private corona test in Italy are comparatively cheap, even if the prices vary by region. Public institutions charge between 60 and 80 euros – depending on the respective location: the test in Lombardy costs between 63 and 70 euros. In Tuscany, patients pay 84 euros. In private clinics and laboratories, the costs are significantly higher. Antibody tests, on the other hand, are significantly cheaper and cost between 15 euros in public and 30 euros in private institutions.
@imago images / Xinhua
In Austria, the question of costs is primarily a question of the test site and the desired service. The cheapest provider – in public hands – carries out PCR tests for private individuals for 45 euros. For many private laboratories, however, the costs are twice to three times as high. The providers also pay a lot for the convenience of a quick laboratory analysis. With the front runner, the PCR test with an evaluation of three to four hours costs 190 euros.
@mago images / Hans Lucas
Iceland was considered the hidden champion of the first wave of pandemics. Hardly any other country fought the spread of the virus so effectively – also thanks to an extensive test strategy. Iceland was one of the first countries to offer free corona tests for travelers in June. Since July, the PCR test has cost the equivalent of around 80 euros on entry, and 60 euros if paid in advance. Since August 19, a second free test has been required after five to six days.
@imago images / Agencia EFE
In the fight against the coronavirus, Spain is relying on early detection of infected people, but free corona tests have so far been reserved for patients with symptoms or contact with infected people. In Spanish health centers, PCR and rapid tests are now only possible with a doctor’s order. Private laboratories, on the other hand, continue to carry out voluntary tests: PCR tests cost around 100 euros, while the rapid test costs 50 euros.
@imago images / Xinhua
One of the front runners in the cost of corona testing is the UK. Here, too, the costs for private tests vary depending on the laboratory and the waiting time for the test result. The minimum price for a PCR test is around 100 pounds (about 112 euros). Those who need their test results within the next 24 hours will pay up to 170 pounds (around 190 euros) depending on the provider. Home visits can be particularly expensive for patients. Depending on the provider, patients pay between £ 200 and £ 350. The regulation for free tests, on the other hand, is much stricter than in Germany: The national health service only pays for the test costs in the case of typical symptoms of a Covid 19 infection. Anyone who has had contact with a sick person or is asked to take a test by the employer has to pay for it out of their own pocket.
@imago images / Hans Lucas
In France, the price for a corona test is between 54 and 70 euros in public laboratories. Some test stations allow the costs to be paid in advance; patients are reimbursed for the money later by the health insurance company – even without a doctor’s order for the test. The French government enforced this regulation in July. A quick test, on the other hand, costs between 10 and 15 euros.
@imago images / Xinhua
Corona infections are still as high in no country as in the USA. The tests are freely available to citizens, regardless of whether they have health insurance or not. To this end, the government introduced the Families First Coronavirus Response Act at the end of March. The US Department of Health especially advises Americans with corona symptoms and contact with infected people to get tested in public test stations. The cost of private PCR testing varies significantly from around $ 100 to over several hundred dollars.
@imago images / Eastnews
The increasing number of cases in Europe is also affecting the Polish health system. The health insurance pays for all costs of corona-related tests and treatments. However, observers describe the availability of the tests as too low. In contrast, PCR tests in private laboratories are relatively expensive by Polish standards. The costs between 500 and 600 PLN – this corresponds to between 112 and 134 euros – make up about 15 percent of the average net income.
@imago images / ITAR-TASS
Since the beginning of the pandemic, Russia has been relying on large-scale PCR testing. According to official figures, the country carries out between eight and ten million per month. The health insurance company pays the costs for a PCR test. Moscow also offers its residents free rapid tests. Tests in private laboratories are considered comparatively cheap and amount to a maximum of 3,000 Russian rubles (about 33 euros). At the airport, the cost of a private PCR test is between 20 and 30 euros – depending on the waiting time for the test result.
@imago images / UPI Photo
While Germany is looking forward to the end of the “lockdown light”, Israel is slowly ramping up its economy and public life again. At the same time, the country continues to work on improving the test strategy. In early November, the Ministry of Health reported a new system that could cut the test time for PCR tests in half in the future. A new test center has also been in use for travelers since Monday: PCR tests cost between 45 and 135 shekels – this corresponds to between 11 and 34 euros. For Israelis, corona tests – including voluntary ones – are covered by health insurance. The costs for PCR tests in private laboratories, on the other hand, vary between 67 and 144 euros depending on the location.