How much do Covid tests now cost in Switzerland?
Screening for coronavirus is no longer free of charge for unvaccinated people, but the cost varies from one place to another. Here’s an overview of some prices in Switzerland.
When it announced that free coronavirus screening would end on October 11th, the Federal Council did not specify how much these tests should cost.
“The federal government has not set any tariffs and price setting is subject to private autonomy”, the government said in an interview with Swiss-German radio station FM1 Today.
This means that anyone providing official Covid testing is free to set their own prices.
As a result, the amount you can expect to pay for an official test will vary significantly across the country.
Until now, the government reimbursed 47 francs for a rapid antigen test, but many venues offer cheaper options.
For instance, Swiss media outlet SRF reported that organisers of an agricultural exhibition in St. Gallen offered tests for 26.50.
In Bern, managers of four clubs and discos are reportedly planning to make antigen tests available to their customers for just 11 francs.
A testing centre in St. Gallen is adopting a pay scale based on age: children and students are charged 25 francs, while adults pay 37 francs.
And while pharmacies set their own prices as well, few can compete with such inexpensive tests.
In general, antigen tests in Switzerland cost between 47 and 54 francs, according to Stefan Ullmann, president of Thurgau Pharmacy Association — amounts needed to cover the costs of the screening process.
In his pharmacy, Passage Apotheke in Frauenfeld, Ullman charges 54 francs for a rapid antigen test.
In the Coop Vitality and Amavita pharmacy chains, the test is around seven francs cheaper — 47 francs.
However, some screening centres exceed this price: the Appenzell Innerrhoden Cantonal Health Center charges 70 francs, while the same test costs 80 francs at the Zurich Airport.
Some people are still exempted from paying for testing.
They include, until the end of November, those who have had the first dose of the vaccine and are waiting for the second shot.
The exemption also applies to children up to 16 years of age, visitors to health facilities, symptomatic people, as well as those who can’t be vaccinated for health reasons (and can prove it with a medical certificate).
Have you been overcharged for a Covid test since October 11th? Or do you know somewhere you can get a bargain? Let us know: [email protected].