Key questions as France aims for 700,000 Covid tests

The French government is aiming to provide 700,000 Covid-19 PCR tests per week from May 11

The French government has said it is aiming for the country to do 700,000 Covid-19 tests per week from May 11, the start date for deconfinement. We answer key questions, including test length, cost, and reliability.

Mass testing of the population has long been one of the government’s aims to help contain the spread of Covid-19 before and after deconfinement.

On Tuesday (April 28), Prime Minister Edouard Philippe announced aims to provide “700,000 virological tests per week, from May 11”. In anticipation, French news source FranceInfo has answered some key questions on the tests.

We summarise and translate.

Who can get tested?

At the moment, only at-risk people, elderly care home residents, healthcare staff and pregnant women are considered a priority for a Covid-19 test, and only if they show symptoms.

But health minister Olivier Véran said yesterday (Wednesday April 29) that from May 11, “if you have symptoms and you wish to know if you are infected, you can - you must - get this virological test”.

You will need a medical prescription through your GP to get a test, so you must contact your GP first, preferably by phone or online consultation.

The tests will also be available for people who have “close contact” ...

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