Distribution of rapid antigen self-tests
In addition to PCR tests carried out by medical laboratories on prescription or via Large Scale Testing and rapid antigen tests carried out by health professionals, the government's testing strategy also includes the extensive distribution of rapid antigen self-tests. This distribution is aimed at the general public who can perform these self-tests on their own.
The implementation of self-tests is part of the government's testing strategy, as one of the key elements to support a gradual socio-economic recovery and a return to a new normal. Self-tests allow for an extended and more frequent testing of the Luxembourg population. These tests are easy to use and have recently become available in shops and pharmacies. The advantage of self-tests is that they are performed on a nasal swab and no longer require a deep swab, which is generally considered unpleasant.
Due to their more moderate ability to detect infection, self-tests are however not intended to replace PCR tests from Large Scale Testing nor PCR tests on prescription. It is rather an additional tool in the fight against the spread of the virus. These tests should always be used in addition to basic hygiene and protective measures.
The distribution of rapid antigen self-tests is built on 5 pillars:
1. A regular supply for priority sectors in the fight against the virus:
- Hospitals and specialised institutions
- COPAS, FEDAS and other activities in the fields of the elderly and people with disabilities
- Social sector, in particular state-approved structures
- National and higher education
It should be noted that rapid antigen tests have regularly been distributed since October-November to hospitals and care facilities for the elderly and people with disabilities.
2. Distribution of a starter kit to the working population:
- Private companies, self-employed, seasonal workers and public institutions (from 17 May)
- Civil service (from 17 May)
- Municipal civil service (from 15 May)
- European and international civil service (from 18 May)
3. Distribution of vouchers to the rest of the population (per household):
- Retired persons
- "Revis" benificiaries
- Recipients of unemployment benefits
Each eligible household will receive a secure voucher allowing the beneficiary to collect a box of tests together with an information flyer. The dispatch of the vouchers is spread over 2 weeks and started on 14 May. Please note that only one voucher will be sent per household, even if more than one person belongs to the same household. The self-tests (Wondfo Test Antigene Rapid nCoV) will be available for pick-up at pharmacies in Luxembourg from 20 May onwards upon presentation of the voucher.
- Self-tests will also be provided to senior clubs, senior activities and meals-on-wheels services.
4. One-time distribution of rapid antigen self-tests in the context of a progressive opening:
- Horeca sector
- Culture sector
- Sports sector
5. In order to be able to react promptly in the event of a rapid increase in infections, a national reserve of self-tests is planned. The aim of this pillar is to reduce, if necessary, the spread of the virus through rapid intervention on a large part of the population, instead of putting in place new restrictions.
To date, more than 17 million self-tests have been ordered. The test shipments are currently underway and all orders are expected to be delivered by mid-May.
Who can perform and certify rapid antigen tests?
Superficial swabs can be carried out by any person on others, and even on oneself in the context of a self-test, without any specific training.
The result of the rapid tests can be certified by:
- any health professional (physician, pharmacist, nursing assistant, nurse, anaesthetist nurse, paediatric nurse, psychiatric nurse, midwife, laboratory technician, masseur-physiotherapist, osteopath), authorised to practice in Luxembourg,
- a civil servants or public employee designated for this purpose by the Director of Health.
These persons can only certify the results of rapid tests performed by the test person under their direct supervision.
The certificate is drawn up according to a template developed by the Health Directorate.
What should I do if my self-test is positive?
If the result of a self-test is positive, you should immediately put yourself in self-isolation and report your result on www.covidtracing.public.lu. It is recommended to have the self-test result confirmed by a PCR test. It is also important to inform close contacts as soon as possible, so that they can start self-quarantining.
It is recalled that rapid antigen tests performed by health professionals are reported directly by them.
Further details on antigen self-tests: Self-test and on Youtube: Expert Q&A: Dr. Thomas Dentzer - #2-4 Antigen Self-Test
Press release by the Ministry of Health