Covid France: PCR no longer needed after positive antigen test

The health ministry approved the change to ease the pressure under which testing laboratories currently find themselves. This does not apply to self-administered tests 

7 January 2022

People who test positive after taking an antigen test will no longer need to carry out a confirmatory PCR Pic: Anna Mente / Shutterstock

By Emma Morgan

People in France who receive a positive antigen result from a test carried out by a health worker no longer need to carry out a confirmatory PCR test, it has been announced.

The change aims to clear the backlog of Covid tests waiting to be analysed at laboratories amid the current case surge 

This change was announced by François Blanchecotte of the Syndicat national des biologistes health union and validated by the Health Ministry. 

Read more: Why France is easing its Covid isolation and contact case rules

People must still take a PCR test if they carry out a self-administered test (antigen) and receive a positive result, as these tests can often produce errors if not used correctly.

A confirmatory PCR in this case will enable people testing positive to enter their result on the Health Ministry’s SI-DEP platform and to later obtain a recovery certificate to bypass unneeded vaccine doses in the months that follow. 

Antigen tests which are carried out by a pharmacist or other healthcare professional are automatically declared on SI-DEP. However, this type of test does not enable laboratories to identify the Covid variant which has infected the person in question. 

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