- Lifestyle & Sports
- 29 Nov 21
According to the Health Minister, since retailers have lowered the price of antigen tests themselves, there is no longer a need to "spend taxpayer money to subsidise them".
Health minister Stephen Donnelly has said the government is no longer looking into subsidising antigen tests as the price of the kits has fallen in recent weeks.
The minister said antigen tests are now widely available for around €3 - €4 in supermarkets and for €1.50 in some shops, so there was no longer a need to "spend taxpayer money to subsidise them".
Making the remarks on RTÉ's Today with Claire Byrne, he said that the retail price in Ireland is now the same as what the Government had intended to make them available for.
Supermarket Lidl have led the price drop for single antigen tests, after they announced on Friday they would sell them for just €2.99. The price for single tests in pharmacies was previously around €10, but has dropped now to around €5.
"It very quickly became unnecessary," he explained. "Since we’ve been looking at the subsidisation, the price has fallen.
"We have managed to achieve the price reduction without having to spend taxpayer money on subsidisation. The market has done it itself, without having to spend taxpayer money, so it’s a good result."
The advice from NPHET in recent weeks states that people who frequently go to nightclubs, bars and restaurants should take twice weekly antigen tests. Antigen tests have also been trialed at a number of events to help reduce cases but the practice has not been put in place for all events.
The government is also rolling out an antigen testing scheme in primary schools today, for pupils who are close contacts of Covid-19 cases.
Parents will now be notified if their child is a close contacts of a case in their own class pod, and will be asked to administer two antigen tests to their child. This will be voluntary, and schools will not be following up results of these tests.
The children in the pod of the confirmed case can continue to attend school as long as they have no symptoms, but if a child presents with Covid symptoms parents should take them for a PCR test.
- Lifestyle & Sports
- 27 Jun 22