Government backs off again for Covid self-tests


The French government has once again decided to delay the release of the Covid self-tests, which will not be available for a month.

Complex implementation of Covid self-tests in France

It has now been a week since the self-tests were to be available for sale in supermarkets and pharmacies. Thursday March 25, 2021 and still nothing. The government has once again decided to postpone their release. The High Authority for Health had announced that it authorized the deployment of Covid self-tests throughout the country and that each French could get a batch of 10 or 20 tests.

Jérôme Salomon, the Director General of Health, for his part, promised that the tests would quickly be available for sale in pharmacies and supermarkets. Since these announcements, no progress in sight, since it seems that the National Medicines Safety Agency refuses to validate the Covid self-tests, considering that‘it is a professional medical device and therefore not accessible to everyone.

Supermarkets on the war footing

The Carrefour group had, upon the announcement of the marketing of the Covid self-tests in supermarkets, made the decision to order a million tests from China. An order canceled when the government decided to backtrack by limiting the sale of these tests to pharmacies only. The Directorate General of Health has confirmed this change of course: “ Their sale outside pharmacies is not allowed “. In addition, their marketing will only be available in at least four weeks.

The reason for this backpedaling of the government can be explained by several things. First, the French vaccine strategy, which allows 400,000 daily tests, could be undermined by these self-tests whose reliability is lower and which do not allow the traceability of infected people. Also, the use of these tests is not that easy, they are always tests with nasal swab and the swab should be inserted three to four centimeters. A technical gesture that makes you fear injuries.