Rob Engelaar

Coronavirus self-tests at Belgian pharmacies from Tuesday

Starting Tuesday chemists will start selling coronavirus self-tests.  The test will require you to swab your nose at a depth of two centimetres.  A quarter of an hour later you should know the result, which, unfortunately, isn’t 100% accurate.

It was a week ago that the health minister decided that pharmacists could sell the self-tests.  Supplies are now being rushed to chemists.  Most pharmacies should have stocks by the end of the week and from then on the number of self-tests supplied will also increase.

Not all chemists will be fully stocked by Tuesday, so shoppers should be aware they may be disappointed or need to shop around. Any customer can purchase as many tests as they wish.  Members of the public will have to foot the bill for self-tests themselves, though some people qualify for increased reimbursement from their health fund.  The tests should cost around 8 euros each.  If you get a refund from your health fund, the test should only cost a euro a test, but there is a maximum of two tests per person per week in order to receive a refund.

In Belgium, unlike in Germany, self-tests won’t be available in supermarkets.  Here, chemists will be able to provide the necessary explanation when you buy the test and tell you what to do when it’s positive.

An information leaflet is still in the pipeline.

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