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Greece to introduce Covid-19 self-tests from April, mandatory for specific sectors

Individual self-tests for Covid-19 will be one of the major tools that will help the restart of the economy and reopening of schools in Greece, health authorities said on Friday. The tests will be available form April and will be mandatory for workers at specific sectors once per week.

Mandatory will be for employees in retail, business, catering, tourism and courts, as well as for teachers and students.

The free distribution of the test kits will start from pharmacies at the beginning of April and for a period of two months.

The tests will be carried out at home and not in the pharmacy.

Priority is expected to be given to people up to 67 years old, who are considered as the most active members in the society.

The citizen will need a social security number AMKA to obtain the self-test at the pharmacy. They are supposed to be free of charge or for a fee of two euros. The price issue is still to be settled.

Deputy Health Minister Vassilis Kontozamanis said the use of the self-diagnostic test will not be mandatory for all other activities.
Kontozamanis stressed that the self-tests are mainly nasal tests or saliva tests, which are easy to use, with simple instructions and specially designed so that everyone can use them effectively on their own.
Infectious Disease specialist and member of the Committee advising the Health Ministry Gkikas Magiorkinis said that the self-test “does not differ much from a simple pregnancy test,” and that “a swab can be taken from saliva or the nose.”
He added  that that 1 in 20 people taking a test will get a positive outcome.
Minister Kontozamanis pointed out  that positive results must be declared on a platform specifically for self-tests  –– that will open at the same time when the tests will be available.
He stressed that the self-test is a complementary action for the timely detection of asymptomatic carriers of the virus who had no reason to be examined.

The country’s epidemiologists’ committee is expected to give their suggestions in the middle of upcoming week regarding the gradual reopening of business and social activities as well as schools. According to media scenarios, the first stage of reopening is scheduled for April 5 and 12, 2021.

More information on coronavirus in Greece here.

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  1. Does this mandatory test also apply to people who have had the vaccination — it’s not very clear.

  2. I’m curious abt the test accuracy on asymptotics. I have heard that rapid tests usually cannot detect asymptotic cases, but these self-tests can?