| 30 January 2023, Monday |

Germany to end free COVID tests from Oct. 11 – sources

Free coronavirus tests will be halted by the German government from October 11  in a bid to encourage more people to get inoculated amid concerns about a rise in new cases, sources close to talks with the federal states said on Tuesday.

Chancellor Angela Merkel and leaders of the 16 federal states met on Tuesday to discuss measures to avoid a new wave of infections, driven by the spread of the Delta strain, and avert unpopular restrictions.

They approved to end free testing for all except those for whom vaccination is not recommended, such as children and pregnant women, the sources said.

They hope that these measures will encourage more people to get COVID-19 shots as uninoculated people will then have to pay for the tests they need to be able to enter indoor restaurants, take part in religious ceremonies and do indoor sport.

Germany had made the tests free for all in March to help make a gradual return to normal life possible after months of lockdown. Although around 55 percent of Germans are fully inoculated, the pace of vaccination has slowed.

In France, vaccinations jumped after President Emmanuel Macron unveiled a plan for citizens to have to show a health pass for many daily activities, although the plan has also triggered mass demonstrations.

  • Reuters