THE Spanish Government has announced that everyone in Spain will be able to access rapid coronavirus testing – even without a prescription – from next week (July 19).
COVID-19 home test kits will be available for pick up without an appointment from pharmacies across Spain from Monday, by ordering online or by phone, for people to test themselves.
Minister Carolina Darias announced that the plans to allow pharmacies to sell home testing had been given green light in a bid to help curb the fifth wave of the virus.
The expansion is aimed at finding cases that would otherwise go undetected, so anyone testing positive can self-isolate and avoid transmitting the virus to those around them.
It means anyone without symptoms who do not already have access to asymptomatic testing in their workplace or community can test themselves.
It is not yet known how much the tests will cost but similar kits are currently sold in France and Portugal for less than €10.
Packs of rapid antigen tests will be sold over the counter and will be able to provide results in around 15 minutes. A positive result means people should self-isolate with their household and order a PCR test to confirm the positive result. Antigen tests, while fast and cheap, are less reliable than PCR tests.
Anyone who receives a negative result should continue to follow the restrictions and guidance currently in place, as a negative result is not a guarantee that someone does not have COVID-19.