As queues become a more common sight outside Swiss night clubs, political pressure is mounting to end free Covid-19 tests that can allow the unvaccinated and unrecovered to enter clubs, according to 20 Minutes.
Some politicians would like to see an end to taxpayer-funded raid antigen tests, which cost around CHF 50 a time. In addition, there are concerns that free antigen tests are being used as a way to avoid vaccination.
At the same time, others fear the CHF 50 cost of a test will dissuade many from going out, especially given the relatively low rates of vaccination among young people. In Zurich around 45% of those aged 20-29 remain unvaccinated. The same percentages are similar in Vaud (47%) and Geneva (55%).
In addition to the public cost of the tests, the Swiss National Covid-19 Science Task Force is concerned about the reliability of rapid antigen tests, which have a tendency to produce false negative test results. Removing the rapid antigen test option from the Swiss Covid certificate would improve the reliability of the certificates and help slow the spread of the disease, which has accelerated in recent weeks.
Last summer, many of Switzerland’s nightclubs were closed after becoming Covid-19 hotspots.