Covid announcements

Public to start paying for CovidCheck PCR test

Prime minister Xavier Bettel and health minister Paulette Lenert at Wednesday’s press conference Luxembourg government screenshot

Prime minister Xavier Bettel and health minister Paulette Lenert at Wednesday’s press conference Luxembourg government screenshot

During a press conference on Wednesday afternoon, Luxembourg’s prime minister and the health minister announced restrictions will be extended until 18 October, with "some adjustments".

Prime minister Xavier Bettel (DP), and minister of health, Paulette Lenert (LSAP)made serveral announcements on the future of the current Covid law and the restrictions that have been in force since 16 July and expire on 14 September.

The question of the health system put in place at the start of the school year was briefly addressed, although more information is certainly expected at a press conference scheduled for Thursday at 2pm with Lenert and education minister Claude Meisch (DP).

The main announcements

- The government wants to extend Covid restrictions until 18 October, with "some adjustments", even if the "status quo" will generally be the rule;

- PCR testing for covid will be charged for from 15 September for those carried out as part of a CovidCheck. Invitations for Large Scale Testing will also cease. The aim is to "make it clear that getting vaccinated is easier” the ministers said,

- Like the covid law, the family leave scheme will also be extended.

“We can no longer justify that society in general pays for people who do not want to be vaccinated,” Bettel said referring to those who need a covid check test for leisure activities such as travel or going to a restaurant rather than getting inoculated.

Of course, vaccination does not prevent infection, but it protects against serious forms, Bettel said. In fact, none of the eight people currently in intensive care in Luxembourg are vaccinated… Bettel also added that it is relatively easy to get vaccinated in the grand duchy: general practitioners can now administer the jab and the Impfbus is also touring the country and stopping off at shopping centres and at public events. “We will also see how we organise vaccination in schools, and for companies with the UEL,” Lenert said. One goal is also to get in touch with non-vaccinated people--only 65% of 18-50-year olds are vaccinated-- to better understand their hesitancy and get a clearer picture of demographics. Convincing them to get the jab and increasing immunisation coverage could possibly prevent a fourth wave, which is expected in the autumn, from saturating hospitals.

This article was originally published in French on Paperjam.lu. It has been translated and edited for Delano.