it is no longer necessary to confirm an antigen test by a PCR

The test centers (here in Brussels, January 5, 2022) have become emblematic places of the Covid-19 epidemic. YVES HERMAN / REUTERS

This obligation is lifted by the Ministry of Health in the face of “intense viral circulation”. The measure aims to unclog laboratories.

With more than eight million tests carried out between Christmas and New Year’s Day, last week saw a new record broken – which is not without consequence on the activity of the laboratories and on the capacities of the SIDEP platform, which provides access to the result of a test, and which has been experiencing severe slowdowns for several days linked to the saturation of the service.

Consequently, the rules are changing for French people who test positive for Covid-19: confirmation of a positive antigen test by a PCR test is no longer an obligation. This clarification was already included in the “DGS-Urgent” letter sent by the ministry to caregivers on Sunday January 2, specifying what were the new provisions to be observed in terms of the isolation of positive people or contact cases.

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Whether positive or negative, an antigen test is now enough to decide whether or not to isolate oneself, without the need to do a PCR test in the process. “Given the intense viral circulation, it is no longer necessary to confirm an antigen test result by PCR“, Soberly details the Ministry of Health. On the other hand, a positive self-test must be confirmed, either by an antigen test or by a PCR test.

François Blanchecotte, president of the National Union of Biologists, confirmed this change in the rules at France Info , specifying that this new protocol will make it possible to unclog the laboratories. Three tools therefore remain available to the French to detect a possible infection: self-tests, antigen tests and PCR tests – but only the self-tests are considered insufficiently reliable and must be confirmed. Thus, for the infection to be taken into account and for a recovery certificate to be issued seven days later (allowing the date of the booster vaccine to be postponed), the test must be an antigen or a PCR, since it must have been carried out by a health professional.


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