According to a report by the newspaper Le Matin, some testing centres in Switzerland are charging for rapid antigen tests despite the federal government announcing it would cover the cost of these tests.
With many holiday destinations still requiring negative Covid-19 tests as a condition of entry, those heading across borders for the summer holidays will need to get tested before heading to the airport or getting on the road or on a train.
Every nation has its own Covid-19 entry rules that change regularly. Across much of Europe, two doses of specific vaccines received more than 14 days earlier allow entry without a negative test. However, those not fully vaccinated are often required to provide the results of a recent negative test.
However, in among the Covid-19 pre-travel hassle there is some good news. Some countries that require a negative test will also accept the results of a third party rapid antigen tests in addition to the slower more expensive PCR test.
Furthermore, the cost of rapid antigen tests is covered by the federal government, which announced its decision on 26 June 2021. And these test costs are covered by the government regardless of the motive for getting them.
According to Le Matin, some testing centres and pharmacies have been charging as much as CHF 82.50 for rapid antigen tests, despite the government covering their cost.
Martine Ruggli, the head of pharmaSuisse, told Le Matin that pharmacies belonging to their association had been notified of the federal government decision on 24 June 2021 and that the rapid antigen test and accompanying certificate are free. But it is a recent development and not everyone has yet updated their practice, she said.
So when booking a rapid antigen test it is worth clarifying if there will be a charge. Some test centres say the test is free but charge for creating a travel certificate. In such cases it is probably worth shopping around.