Now, the self-tests – which were originally planned to be available in Swiss pharmacies from mid-March – will be available to the general public from April 7th.
The delay was due to concerns that the tests may not be accurate enough, but Swiss authorities now say they are convinced.
Swissmedic has however warned that self-tests from abroad should not be used as they may be unreliable.
Swiss residents are entitled to five free tests per month.
The ‘rapid tests’ use a sample from the front of the nose instead of the larynx, making them more comfortable and easy to use.
Results are available in 15 minutes.
What is the background to the testing scheme?
On March 5th, Switzerland’s Federal Council announced everyone would receive five free tests per month.
The Swiss government promised to “assume the cost of all tests from March 15th”, it said in a statement.
The new strategy focuses on three types of screenings: testing of symptomatic people; frequent and large-scale testing in schools, companies and institutions; and self-diagnostic tests, aimed at reducing transmissions in the circle of personal acquaintances.
Until now, the government paid only for tests carried out on those with symptoms, as well as asymptomatic people in care homes and schools.
One of the strategies of free testing, focusing on curbing the spread of infections and preventing new outbreaks, is that each Swiss resident will be entitled to five free coronavirus ‘self-tests’ per month.