You probably remember the long lines outside the only labs that offered paid PCR testing. Similar, but longer, are the queues in front of vans in shopping malls or central locations where antigen testing for green certificates is performed. In this case, it is valid for 48 hours.
The government announced last week that it would provide 600,000 “free” tests. They aren’t free yet, and those who wanted to pay for them on weekends did so for an average of 20-30 BGN per test. They will not be free – from Monday they will be paid again, but less – BGN 10. That is, people will not pay for the tests themselves, but take the sample, process the results and uploading to the database will cost money. Here are questions and answers on how to get a certificate after an antigen test.
1. Is it clear in which laboratories (and their field stations) the antigen tests will be carried out?
No. They must appear in an order of the Minister of Health. There is no order with detailed descriptions yet, as the laboratories are receiving the tests under the EU program and have not yet concluded any contracts. Thus, anyone wishing to take a test should know which are the largest laboratories in the city where they reside, and check on their websites or by phone if they offer free tests and what is the nearest point for it.
2. Who is eligible for these tests?
Virtually all workers, employees, students, retirees who need a green certificate, has not been vaccinated and has not suffered from the coronavirus, that is – does not appear in the uniform code, the portal is entitled to an antigen test. If employers from places they enter with a certificate wish to test their sick or vaccinated employees, they must organize a separate collection at a special open point near the office, establishment or place where their employees work, in agreement with one of the laboratories. The tests are provided by the laboratory. However, the employer is not obliged to organize an investigation, nor to pay for it.
If there is no organized test of employees in the respective company, each of them must be tested individually.
If a customer or employee enters a public place without green certificate and is found by RHI, he owes a fine of 300 BGN to 1,000 BGN, and the company – from 1,000 to 2,000 BGN.
The validity of certificates with antigen tests is 48 hours.
3. What tests are done?
Some of the tests were purchased and others were donated by the European Commission. Respectively, some of them are of high quality and those with which renowned laboratories are currently performing antigen tests. However, among the shipments there are no such high quality tests, only the local RHI received them centrally. These tests can give a false positive or false negative result and are not very reliable. In some cases, labs refuse to use them and use their own tests, and in some cases, charge extra for a better test.
4. What is free?
Once the contracts are finalized, the laboratories will begin to receive regular antigen testing. The test itself will be free, but not the collection, the means of destroying the sample and the work of declaring and preparing a green certificate. The amount for the collection and processing of the sample must be fixed in the contract of the ministry with the laboratories, and it is foreseen that it will be fixed there that they cannot collect from each client more than 10 BGN for free test processing.
5. How is the document obtained?
At the place where the client takes the test, he should receive a green certificate with a negative result for the coronavirus or be entered in the system as infected if the presence of coronavirus is detected.
The queues in front of the laboratories and their points are so long and slow, because the unified information portal has been constantly blocked in recent days, and the data of each subject cannot be entered, and the certificate – printed and delivered.