The Council of State validated, Friday, October 29, the end of the free of the so-called tests “Comfort” to detect SARS-CoV-2 (the pathogen responsible for Covid-19), dismissing several requests, including an urgent appeal from the Union Syndicale Solidaires against the decree ending this free service.
The highest French administrative court considers that the end of the free admission of these tests “Does not have the effect of making the requirement to present the health pass in certain circumstances disproportionate with regard to the public health objectives that it pursues”.
Since October 15, Covid-19 screening tests are no longer reimbursed for people who are not fully vaccinated, with some exceptions (medical prescription, contact case, recent positive test result, contraindication to the vaccine). PCR tests cost 43.89 euros, and antigenic laboratory tests 22 euros and 25 euros in pharmacies (30 euros on Sundays), fully payable by the person if they do not fall under the exceptional regime.
6.2 billion spent in 2020
“No international standard (…), no legislative provision nor any general principle imposes the assumption of responsibility by the Medicare of a biological examination ”, notes the Council of State in its decision, consulted by Agence France-Presse.
Besides, “The development of free access” vaccination against Covid-19 “For all people not suffering from medical contraindications to a vaccine”, as well as “The evolution of the health context” and “The financial burden” free tests for the State “Are such as to justify the termination of this support” tests, estimates the public institution. Until now, France was one of the few countries to systematically reimburse PCR tests (even in the absence of symptoms, for example). A policy that has had a cost: 6.2 billion euros this year.
” Furthermore “, continues the Council of State, the price of the tests « is not of such importance “ it may “Prevent the persons concerned from using it”. And “Today there are no longer any difficulties for people who can and wish to be vaccinated for free”, he notes, judging that the end of the completely free tests “Can not be regarded as having for object nor for effect to compel vaccination”.
Suspended self-test decree
On the other hand, the Council of State accepted other requests, including that of the association VIA-La Voie du peuple. He thus suspended a decree of October 14 according to which self-tests carried out under the supervision of a health professional are no longer recognized. “As proof for the health pass”.
The Minister of Health, Olivier Véran, “Does not invoke any reason relating to efficiency” of the self-test and it “Is limited to indicating that this test was only planned in order to prevent difficulties of access to RT-PCR or antigen tests during the establishment of the health pass, difficulties which did not occur and which are no longer likely to occur “, underlines in particular the Council of State.
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Covid-19: the Council of State validates the end of free “comfort” tests