How and Where a "Free" Antigen Test can be Done in Bulgaria
You probably remember the long queues in front of the only labs that offered paid PCR tests. Similar, but longer, are the queues in front of the vans in the malls or in central places where antigen tests for green certificates are performed. In this case, it is valid for 48 hours.
The government announced last week that it would provide 600,000 "free" tests. They are not free yet, and those who wanted to pay them in the weekend did so for an average of BGN 20-30 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 taking the sample, processing 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 outside posts) the antigen tests will be performed?
No. They must appear in an order of the Minister of Health. There is no such order with detailed descriptions yet, as the laboratories receive the tests under the EU program and have yet to conclude contracts. Thus, anyone wishing to take a test should find out which are the largest laboratories in the city in which he/she lives, and check on their websites or by phone if they offer free tests and where is the nearest point for this.
2. Who is eligible for these tests?
Virtually every worker, employee, student, retiree who needs a green certificate, has not been vaccinated and has not suffered from coronavirus, that is - does not appear in the uniform code, portal is entitled to an antigen test. If employers in places where they enter with a certificate wish to test their sick or vaccinated employees, they must arrange separate sampling at a special open point near the office, establishment or place where their employees work, by agreement for this with one of the certified laboratories. The tests are provided by the laboratory. However, the employer is not obliged to organize a survey, nor to pay for it.
If there is no organized testing of employees in the respective company, each of them must be tested individually.
If a client or employee enters a public place without a green certificate and is found by RHI, he owes a fine of BGN 300 to BGN 1,000, and the company - from BGN 1,000 to 2,000.
The validity of the certificates with antigen tests is 48 hours.
3. What tests are done?
Some of the tests were bought and others were donated by the European Commission. Respectively, some of them are of high quality and those with which the renowned laboratories perform antigenic tests at the moment. However, among the shipments there are not so high quality tests, just the local RHI has received such centrally. These tests can give a false positive or false negative result and are not very reliable. In some cases, laboratories refuse to use them and use their own tests, and in some cases ask for a surcharge for a better test.
4. What is free?
Once the contracts are finalized, laboratories will begin receiving regular antigen tests. The test itself will be free, but not the sampling, the means for destruction of the sample and the work on the reporting and preparation of a green certificate. The amount for taking and processing the sample is to be set in the contract of the ministry with the laboratories, and it is expected that it will be fixed there that they cannot collect from each client more than BGN 10 for processing the free test.
5. How is the document obtained?
At the place where the client takes the test, he must receive a green certificate with a negative result for 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 so 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 handed over.
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