Berlin (dpa) – The end of free corona rapid tests for all citizens, raised by the federal government, receives majority approval, according to a survey.
61 percent support the fact that tests for unvaccinated people should no longer be free in the future, as the survey for the ARD “Germany trend” (Thursday) showed. In contrast, 35 percent said this was going in the wrong direction.
The discussion about a possible end of the free tests continues in politics as well. Green health expert Janosch Dahmen said on ARD that the debate came at the wrong time because more than 30 million people had not yet been vaccinated. Making rapid tests taxable from the fall is “not only unfair, but especially bad because it puts us in another blind flight in the pandemic”. The social association VdK called for a current negative test to continue to make it possible to visit cinemas or restaurants. “If the free corona tests were abolished, families would not be able to take advantage of many leisure activities.” Scheduled exceptions are welcome.
Federal Health Secretary Jens Spahn defended an imminent change: “From mid-October, unvaccinated adults who could have been vaccinated should pay for a rapid antigen test before going to a restaurant.” The ministry proposes that only people who cannot be vaccinated or for whom there is no general vaccination advice, such as pregnant women or people under the age of 18, should continue to receive free tests. Since March, the federal government pays for at least one rapid test per week by trained personnel, including evidence.
This has cost the state about 3.7 billion euros in taxpayers’ money this year, the Ministry of Health announced at the request of the “Rheinische Post” (Thursday). According to the federal government, a “reasonable price” must be paid after the free tests have ended. For the test providers, the compensation was reduced to 11.50 euros as of 1 July for material costs and the test removal.
SPD chancellor candidate and federal finance minister Olaf Scholz (SPD) sees an end to the free tests in the foreseeable future. It is clear to him that now almost everyone can be vaccinated, the time will come when not everyone can get tested for free, Scholz said during a visit to the election campaign in Hamburg. “If now the next and the second next vaccination option is not used,” the vice chancellor stressed that no more tests should be carried out at the expense of the taxpayer.
Despite the now slower vaccination rate, corona vaccinations are generally very popular, the ARD survey shows. According to this report, 71 percent said they had already been vaccinated at least once, and another 12 percent “definitely intend to.” With a total of 83 percent, that is now 8 percentage points more than in May, the ARD explained. That they “probably” want to be vaccinated was indicated by 4 percent — that they probably don’t want to be vaccinated or that 12 percent say they don’t want to.
For the ARD “Deutschlandtrend”, the Infratest dimap institute surveyed 1312 voters aged 18 and older from 2 to 4 August.
Of those who are unlikely to get vaccinated or under any circumstances, 69 percent cite concern about potentially undiscovered resulting health problems as the top reason, the survey found. 15 percent say they are not worried about a corona infection, 8 percent say they are against vaccinations in principle. In the survey, 50 percent rejected a mandatory vaccination that had been ruled out by the federal government, while 46 percent were in favor of it.
In a survey by the Forsa Institute for the RTL media group, a majority also spoke out in favor of possible special corona restrictions for people who do not want to be vaccinated. Of these, 69 percent of the respondents think this is correct and 28 percent incorrect. If in the future only fully vaccinated or recovering people had access to restaurants, cinemas, theaters or other leisure facilities, 55 percent would say this is correct and 41 percent do not.
Chancellor Angela Merkel (CDU) and the prime ministers want to discuss the Corona trajectory for autumn and winter next Tuesday. There is disagreement over, among other things, the idea of Federal Health Minister Jens Spahn (CDU) that certain restrictions on higher numbers of infections could only apply to unvaccinated people.