Luxembourg City ends rapid test discount vouchers

The last €5 test vouchers will be issued on 31 December Library photo: Paperjam

The last €5 test vouchers will be issued on 31 December Library photo: Paperjam

City authorities will stop handing out vouchers for €5 rapid antigen tests on 31 December, a press release said on Thursday.

The capital had started the initiative to give discounts on rapid antigen tests when the government made the CovidCheck regime mandatory for the hospitality sector in November. Restaurants could previously decide whether they use CovidCheck or limit tables to groups of four and implement mask and distancing rules.

The city between mid-September and the end of October had issued vouchers for free tests after the government stopped its large-scale PCR testing programme.

But the scheme will end on 31 December when the last vouchers will be issued at the city hall or the Rocade administrative centre. They can be redeemed on that day, the Ville de Luxembourg said. A test centre run by the city and participating pharmacies accept the vouchers.

Test results are still needed for the so-called 3G CovidCheck regime, which will become mandatory in the workplace from 15 January and requires employees to show they are vaccinated, recovered or tested negative.

The leisure sector has switched to a 2G model, accepting only vaccination or recovery certificates, and since 25 December an even stricter 2G+ model is in place across restaurants and bars. This means that anyone who has not yet received a booster vaccination dose must take a rapid antigen test in addition to providing proof of a completed first vaccination schedule or recovery.

Businesses have been issued free tests for customers.

A Luxembourg pharmacy association meanwhile has warned of rising prices for rapid antigen tests as more countries are moving to 2G+ models and require test results for travel and other activities.

Increased demand in the market is leading to higher purchasing prices, the association told public broadcaster Radio 100,7. Most pharmacies are still able to absorb the price hike by lowering their profit margin, the group said, but this could change over the coming weeks.