BERLIN, Aug 11 — Germany will no longer offer free COVID-19 tests for unvaccinated people, Chancellor Angela Merkel said Tuesday.
“As we are now in a position to offer vaccination for the entire population in Germany, we would be ending free tests on Oct 11,” Merkel said at a news conference in Berlin, following a video-conference meeting with premiers of federal states.
According to Anadolu Agency (AA), Merkel urged Germans to get vaccinated amid a rise in new infections and said authorities may soon require proof of vaccination, recovery, or negative test for visiting enclosed spaces, like hospitals, restaurants, or fitness studios, if the seven-day incidence rate rises above 35 per 100,000 population.
According to the conclusions of the meeting, after Oct 11, those who have decided against vaccination would have to pay for tests.
Free testing will be offered only to those who cannot get the vaccine because of health conditions as well as to pregnant women, children, and people under the age of 18.
In most federal states, testing is currently required to attend large-scale business, culture or sports events.
In some cities, it is also required to visit museums, movie theatres, or concert halls.
City governments can also impose stricter rules if infections rise and can require testing for customers at indoor restaurants, bars, and cafes unless patrons can show proof of vaccination.