Travelers entering German airports from both risk areas and non-risk areas can now receive a free COVID-19 test. This move is part of an initiative to help curb the spread of coronavirus in the country.
Who can qualify?
According to the German Federal Ministry of Health, passengers need to present a boarding pass, ticket, hotel bill, or another form of evidence to be applicable for a free test. Altogether, as long as they can establish that they were abroad, they can qualify. Regardless, the traveler won’t have to pay to take the test.
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“Since 1 August, the costs incurred are covered if the test is performed within 72 hours of entering the country. The costs incurred for one repeat test per person are also covered,” the German Federal Ministry of Health said on its website.
“The costs for these tests are borne by the Federal Government by way of an increased subsidy towards the health insurance. If the test is carried out by a Federal Land’s public health service, then that Land covers some of the costs itself.”
The government agency addressed queries from individual members of the public about why the tests are free. Several people feel that if going on holiday their own choice, then they should have to pay for a test. However, the group said that many countries have higher numbers of infections than Germany. Therefore, in these areas, there is also a higher risk of becoming infected with the virus.
Altogether, testing early on following a return to Germany reduces the risk of the infection going unnoticed and thereby unintentionally infecting others. So, it’s in the public’s interest to prevent more significant damage that could occur later down the line.
Authorities can meet the testing demands for travelers entering Germany. According to the laboratories reporting to the Robert Koch Institute, 1.2 million tests can be conducted each week. However, only under half the capacity was needed over the last few weeks. Moreover, there are still expansions being made.
There are also airports in the country that are offering tests for departing passengers. For instance, Munich Airport provides such tests for a fee of €190 at the hub’s Terminal 1 medical center.
There is also an extra surcharge on weekends and holidays. For example, the charge on top the standard cost between 08:00 and 20:00 on weekends is €12.82.
All in all, it is great to see proactivity at German airports. Several European flights have resumed in recent weeks following the downturn. Many airlines and travelers would also be hoping that services from additional countries can return to the continent shortly. However, for passenger activity to continue growing over the next few months, there must be initiatives such as these.
What are your thoughts about German airports offering free COVID-19 tests? Do you think that this is a good move? Let us know what you think in the comment section.