From November 29, the validity period of the PCR and antigen tests which give access to the health pass will be 24 hours instead of 72 hours, announced Olivier Véran. Price, for the vaccinated, children, in the laboratory, in pharmacy, positive test … Practical guide.

[Updated November 25, 2021 at 1:41 pm] As of Monday, November 29, the PCR and antigen tests which give access to the health pass will be valid for 24 hours, instead of 72 hours, announced the Minister of Health Olivier Véran during his press conference on November 25. Several screening tests are available in France to find out if you have the Covid. The nasopharyngeal PCR test, which can only be carried out in the laboratory, is the reference test because it is the most effective. The antigen test available in pharmacies is a little less effective but allows you to know in less than 30 minutes if you are infected. These two types of tests are possible for people with contact cases, including minors (who do not pay for their test) and to have a health pass for travel. Self-tests were again authorized for the health pass in November, but only for activities in France (restaurant, cinema, etc.). France also has saliva tests carried out especially on children at school and serological tests which, for their part, look for the presence of antibodies directed against the Covid virus to find out if we have already had the Covid. A positive serological test results in the administration of only one dose of vaccine. How to get tested When ? When we are in contact? How much does it cost ? Do we need a prescription? What test for traveling? What tests are recognized for the health pass? Is it free? Guide.

As announced by the President of the Republic Emmanuel Macron on July 12, 2021, RT-PCR tests and antigenic tests are no longer systematically covered by Health Insurance since October 15, 2021. Must pay:

Yes, a person whose vaccination schedule is complete against Covid can be tested without paying for his test. She has no upfront costs. The presentation of his vaccination certificate serves as proof. Health insurance fully covers the cost of the test, whether it is PCR or antigen. Serological tests are not reimbursed even if you are vaccinated.

Since October 15, 2021, carrying out a Covid screening test is, in principle, the responsibility of the person. Prices vary depending on the type of test (RT-PCR or antigenic test), the professional who performs them, the day and the place where they are carried out (week / Sunday, home / office, metropolitan or overseas etc.) .

► The self-tests cost 5.20 euros on their own; 12.90 euros when they are carried out under the supervision of a health professional.

►Saliva tests carried out in the laboratory cost 40 euros (46.80 euros for a result delivered within half a day following the sample).

► For nasopharyngeal PCR tests, carried out by medical biology laboratories, the reference price is 43.89 euros.

You must be tested if you have symptoms suggestive of a Covid-19 infection, at most within 4 days if you perform an antigen test to increase its reliability, or if you are considered a contact case. For people with symptoms of Covid for more than 4 days, the nasopharyngeal PCR test is recommended.

COVID HEALTH PASS. The government has announced the packaging of the health pass for the 3rd dose from January 15 for people over 18 years old. The validity period of the tests will be reduced from 72 to 24 hours. Where to find it? On Ameli? Sidep? Still obligatory at the restaurant? For minors? Info to date.

For all at-risk contacts (household and out-of-home), an antigen test (in the nose) must be carried out immediately (they are available in pharmacies without an appointment and paid for by health insurance). A second test should be carried out on D 7 of the last contact with the confirmed case and in the absence of symptoms suggestive of Covid-19 or on D 7 after the recovery of the confirmed case if the person lives in the same household. Nasopharyngeal samples can be taken from the age of 6, subject to parental acceptability. The duration of the quarantine for unvaccinated risk contacts remains at 7 days after the last contact with the confirmed or probable case. A negative result does not lift the quarantine measure of the contact person, you must remain isolated for 7 days. Contact cases can register on the health insurance website to obtain immediate, compensated work stoppage without waiting days. Laboratory nasopharyngeal PCR testing is also possible for people with contact cases and will be covered. On the other hand, the deadlines for rendering the results are a little longer (24-48 h).

COVID CONTACT CASE. By definition, a contact case is a person who has come into contact with a positive Covid-19 case in the absence of effective protective measures. How to register? What if you are not vaccinated? How many days of isolation? And for the children? Practical answers.

At school or through his entourage, the child can be exposed to Covid-19 and be considered a “contact case”. When to take the test Who ? How long is the isolation? When can he return to school? Procedure according to his class and answers with Dr Brigitte Virey, pediatrician.

Screening for the coronavirus in children has the same conditions as in adults. It can be performed during symptoms suggestive of Covid-19 or if the child is a “contact case” of a person recently diagnosed positive (but the test is not mandatory if the child is under 6 years old). Children can be tested by nasal PCR (most reliable), antigen test (nasal) and at school, by saliva tests. They can also be tested via nasal self-tests in schools or higher education (for over 15s). Children from 12 years old have been covered by the health pass since September 30, 2021. They can be tested by PCR and antigen in this context and are covered by Health Insurance, even after October 15.

Children can be infected with Covid-19 or be in contact. They can be detected by tests in the nose (PCR, antigen and self-test) and saliva. When to have your child tested? What price ? How is the test going? What to do when the result is positive or negative? How long is the isolation?

Screening for the coronavirus by PCR (the most reliable) or antigen test can be done with or without an appointment. Nasal swab self-tests are not recommended for the diagnosis of possible cases of Covid.

The easiest way to find a screening site on Sunday is to go to It is also possible to contact pharmacies on duty. The list is generally published on the site of each city.

The laboratories only perform PCR tests (nasopharyngeal and salivary depending on the location). You cannot do an antigen test in an analysis laboratory The list of Covid-19 screening centers is available on Once the screening location is identified, you must call to make an appointment. If the laboratory performs the test on site, you must bring your identity card, Vitale card and the prescription if you have one. Without forgetting to wear a mask. When you get home, you have to stay isolated while you wait for the results.

The arrival of antigenic tests has made it possible to open up screening for Covid-19 to pharmacies, without a prescription and without an appointment. This screening is at the goodwill of pharmacists, not all of them offer it, there is no obligation. Pharmacists can offer individual screening or participate in screening organized on a large scale (in the city, department or region for example). In pharmacy, samples can be taken by pharmacists and pharmacy assistants and students who have completed their first year in pharmacy under the responsibility of a pharmacist. The analysis and return of the test are only allowed to the pharmacist. Both symptomatic and asymptomatic people can be tested by antigen testing. The same goes for contact cases. Pharmacies can also perform serological tests (blood sampling from the fingertip). From October 15, antigenic tests carried out in pharmacies are paying if the person does not have a prescription, is not vaccinated, is of age, has no contraindication to vaccination, has not certificate of recovery to the Covid or is not in contact.

PCR and antigen tests can be done without a prescription whether or not you have symptoms of Covid. If you have a medical prescription, you will not pay for your PCR or antigen test and it will be fully covered by Health Insurance. Doctors and midwives (for pregnant women and their close entourage) can make a medical prescription in this context, informs the Ministry of Health. The prescription is valid for 48 hours and is not renewable. Without a medical prescription, the test is not free, whether it is carried out in a laboratory or in a pharmacy. A serological test (in the blood) can also be carried out without a prescription but then does not respond to any medical indication, its meaning will not be explained by a doctor and it will not be reimbursed by Social Security. The self-tests are available over the counter in pharmacies.

A positive RT-PCR test confirms infection with Sars-CoV-2. In the event of a positive result by an antigen test, Santé Publique France has specified that a PCR test must be carried out within 24 hours of the antigen test. Isolation is maintained pending the results. If the diagnostic result obtained by the PCR test and that of the antigen test are discordant, the PCR result should be used. A positive nasal self-test should not be considered as confirmation of the diagnosis, and should be followed within 24 hours by an RT-PCR test to confirm or rule out the infection. When positivity is confirmed:

The Covid epidemic is on its way again. Isolating yourself in the slightest doubt and from the first symptoms suggestive of Covid remains essential to reduce the transmission of the virus. What period for a positive Covid case? 10 days ? What if we are in contact? Vaccinated? Who is recognized as vulnerable? How to get an isolation certificate? Rules.

People positive for Covid-19, who have suggestive symptoms, contact cases, parents of affected children can benefit from sick leave without a waiting day until December 31, 2021. Under what conditions? What is the compensation? The duration ? And to look after her children?

People who have received a first dose of vaccine and who develop a SARS-CoV-2 infection with a positive PCR, antigen or serology test in the days following this first injection should not receive the second dose on time. usual, but within 2 to 6 months of infection. In all cases, it is necessary to wait at least 2 months after the end of the symptoms before proceeding with the vaccination. In the event of a positive test after a complete vaccination, the same instructions must be applied as for all positive cases and a 10-day isolation period must be observed.

The diagnosis of infection with SARS-CoV-2 is ruled out but contact cases not fully vaccinated against Covid must respect the complete isolation of 7 days and do a second test on D 7 after the last contact with the positive person. Even with a negative test, it is important to continue to observe barrier gestures (do not have contact with fragile people for a week (people aged 65 and over, carriers of a chronic disease, with severe obesity or women pregnant in the 3rd trimester of pregnancy)). There would be 20 to 30% of false negative tests, that is to say a COVID infection with negative nasopharyngeal test (PCR), when the test is carried out too early or too late.

The so-called “virological” or “PCR” (“polymerase chain reaction”) diagnostic test has been the benchmark test in France for detecting the coronavirus since the start of the epidemic. It makes it possible to make the early diagnosis of the infection via a nasopharyngeal sample (throat, nose, nasopharynx) which is done using a small swab (brush) inserted into the nose. This is an easy test to perform, non-invasive but unpleasant for the patient because it is a little painful. It is performed by a doctor, biologist or nurse. The sample is analyzed by a specialized laboratory to look for the presence of the genetic material of the coronavirus and thus confirm the diagnosis of the infection. Normally, the laboratory is aware of the result within 3 hours.

Virological tests can determine whether a person is a carrier of the SARS-CoV-2 virus at the time of the test, by taking a nasal or salivary sample. The result is usually available within 24 hours. We take stock of this technique with the Directorate General of Health (DGS).

The PCR test (in the nose) is the gold standard test for detecting Covid-19 disease. Its validity period is 24 hours when it is used as proof of a health pass in France. How much does it cost in the laboratory? Can we do it in pharmacies? What are the differences with the antigen?

Antigenic tests (TAG) have been authorized in France in the detection of Covid-19 infection since the order published in the Official Journal on September 16, 2020. These are rapid tests (results in 30 minutes) validated earlier than planned to “relieve the medical biology laboratories of certain patients and improve the transmission times of the results of RT-PCR tests” indicates the text. The Haute Autorité de Santé gave the green light, on September 25, 2020, to their deployment. On November 10, 2020, a press release from the site confirmed their availability in pharmacies and airports in France. Until then, they could only be performed by state-certified doctors and nurses in the office or at the patient’s home. These tests look not for the genetic material of the virus, but for a protein present in the virus. They answer the question “Does the patient have COVID-19 or not?” A positive antigen test must be confirmed by a PCR test within 24 hours. If the result of the diagnosis obtained by RT-PCR and that of the TAG are discordant, it is that of the RT-PCR which is retained.

Rapid Covid screening test, only an antigen test of less than 24 hours will be able to give access to the health pass from November 29, announced Olivier Véran. How much does an antigen test cost? In pharmacy? In the laboratory? What reliability? How long is it valid? Know everything.

The saliva tests analyzed by RT-PCR are validated by the Haute Autorité de Santé on February 11, 2021. They can be performed as a first-line screening as part of a large-scale screening on a closed asymptomatic population (schools, colleges, high schools, etc.). universities or staff from healthcare establishments or nursing homes, etc.) and as a second-line treatment in symptomatic and case-contact patients when nasopharyngeal sampling is difficult or impossible. The saliva analysis looks for the genome of the SARS-CoV-2 virus. It is a little less effective than the nasopharyngeal PCR test but has the advantage of being better accepted and tolerated by children and people who need to be tested regularly.

The detection of the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus is possible by saliva test. With the epidemic resumption, several schools are relaunching the carrying out of these tests intended for asymptomatic or symptomatic people when the sample in the nose is not possible. They are not recognized as a health pass. Guide.

Serology can be performed using automated tests (such as enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA)) or rapid tests. Automated ELISA-type serological tests and rapid unit serological tests look for antibodies related to the coronavirus in the blood that can determine whether a person has already been infected with the coronavirus. By detecting antibodies (IgG in particular), these tests make it possible to confirm a past infection, these antibodies appearing during the infection (detection possible from the 6th day of the disease, but sometimes only after the 28th day in patients having rough clinical forms) and strengthening during convalescence. Serological tests cannot indicate whether the infection is ongoing and whether the subject is contagious or whether protective immunity is acquired. “A positive serological test should not change your behavior, you can still infect a person, social distancing applies to everyone, whether the serological test is positive or negative. Serology does not replace the PCR test” specified Olivier Véran le May 28. A person who has a serological test with enough antibodies should only receive one dose of the Covid vaccine.

To know if you have had the Covid and then only receive a single dose of vaccine, you have to do a serological test. It can prove the persistence of antibodies. How to interpret its results? Where to do it? In pharmacy? Laboratory? What reliability? What price ? Refund ? Is it valid for the health pass? Guide.

We talk a lot about the Elisa test with the coronavirus epidemic affecting France. But what is it all about? What is the principle ? What are the other indications for this test? Its reliability? His price ? Is it reimbursed? Answers with Jacqueline Marvel, Doctor in immunity and cytotoxic lymphocytes at the International Center for Infectious Disease Research in Lyon.

Rapid tests for Covid-19 are also called “RDT” (Rapid Diagnostic Test), TROD (Rapid Diagnostic Orientation Test) and self-tests. RDTs and TRODs are tests for which sampling, performance and interpretation are carried out by a health professional or by personnel who have received appropriate training and come under prevention and association structures. These tests have lower sensitivity than the nasopharyngeal RT-PCR test. In France, the authorized rapid tests are:

The coronavirus self-tests are part of the rapid tests that deliver their results in a few minutes. They are authorized by the HAS on March 16, 2021 via nasal sampling, and without age limit since April 26. They have been available in pharmacies since April 12. They can be used in schools for preventive screening in asymptomatic pupils as well as in the private sphere in addition to the tests already available (for example, before a meeting with relatives or as part of access to activities in confined spaces. : catering, cinema, live shows, etc.). The self-test should ideally be carried out the same day or, failing that, the day before the meeting / activities. The self-test has again been recognized as proof of a health pass since an order published in the Official Journal on November 11, 2021.

Available in pharmacies, the Covid-19 self-tests performed (in the nose) under the supervision of a health professional are again recognized as valid for the health pass according to a decree published in the Official Journal on November 11. Price, technique, reliability, positive … Advice and instructions.

To continue to benefit from the payment of a test by the Health Insurance, people must present one of the following proofs:

Since July 1, 2021, it is mandatory to present a European health certificate (or health pass). In addition to the vaccination certificate and the Covid recovery certificate, proof of a negative PCR or antigen test of less than 24 hours for travel and border controls is part of the valid sesame. The negative virological test certificate (RT-PCR test and antigen test) is hand-delivered for the paper versions by health personnel and laboratories, and available digitally on the dedicated platform. It can then be added to TousAntiCovid. Self-tests are not valid for travel. Finally, you should know that some countries do not recognize vaccination with a single dose of vaccine for people who have done a serological test before (the United Kingdom for example): inquire about France-Diplomatie.

Traveling is possible, but with certain restrictions. Italy France, Spain, USA, Morocco, Guadeloupe … Where can we go? What if you only have one dose of vaccine? What tests to do? Only PCR? Do you have to have insurance? Conditions and card for travel.

The cost of a screening test (RT-PCR or antigen) performed abroad depends on the country in which it is performed:

Evolution of the cost of COVID screening tests from October 15, 2021. Ministry of Health

Covid-19: what coverage for screening tests carried out abroad? Health insurance, May 28, 2021

COVID-19: Public Health France adapts its indicators to closely monitor the epidemic. Press release. December 8, 2020.

COVID-19: Antigenic tests are effective in symptomatic patients. High Authority of Health. Press release. September 25, 2020.

• Opinion n ° 8 of the COVID-19 Scientific Council July 27, 2020 Prepare now to anticipate a return of the virus in the fall. July 27, 2020.

Place of rapid serological tests (RDTs, TRODs, self-tests) in the COVID19 disease management strategy. HAS. May 14, 2020.


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