Berlin – There has been no free test nationwide for two weeks – this is also the case in Berlin. There are exceptions, such as pregnant women, children or people who cannot be vaccinated for health reasons. But for the majority of the population, the days of free tests are over. First off.
The spokesman for the Berlin General Practitioner Association told the Berliner Zeitung that, in his view, this could not be a permanent condition: As soon as the incidences are clearly dying, the corona rapid tests would also be available again free of charge for everyone, according to Wolfgang Kreischer. He is aware of current corona outbreaks in old people’s homes; When paying, it must be ensured that the abolition of free tests is “a big problem.”
How do the test operators see themselves? After the gold rush mood at the beginning of the year, when corona test centers shot up like mushrooms, and after it became public in the middle of the year that many of them had billed incorrectly, business seemed to have leveled off in late summer – just before the new regulation handle. What is currently going on in the Berlin test centers, and if so, then how much?
First of all, it is no longer so easy to find a test center, because many have closed due to the changed situation. The overview page of the Senate Department for Health (www.direkttesten.berlin) still shows hundreds of test stations, many of which are now closed. There are 12 state-owned test centers, but only tested for those who will continue to get free.
When you enter the test center in Prenzlauer Berg, you notice how quiet it is there. An employee does not seem to have switched from high to low operation and snorts in Berlin style at the individual who does not stand in line. Although there is no longer a row. The employee at the checkout tells where you came from and where you are now: from 1500 in the high phase to around 200 tests a day. The pharmacy in the KaDeWe, previously popular for a progressive test culture, namely the quick test using lollipops, without any unpleasant nose picking, has suffered from the change: The test times have been restricted due to the absence of test persons. In addition, for cost reasons, it is no longer tested with lollipops – which was especially popular with children because it didn’t hurt at all.
In Mitte, on the other hand, you go looking for a test center directly in the Christmas department of Galeria Kaufhof. When asked where the test center has gone, in front of which until recently mainly young people romped before going shopping or going out, an employee says: That no longer exists, but now delicious Stollen. And in a test tent on Schönhauser Allee there is now often a sign that the test will continue right away, only when exactly, that is not written there. In return, the employee is conspicuously courteous to every single customer who then meets them. he knows: They all pay themselves now.
We can only hope that not all test centers will continue to dismantle in the next few weeks, so that in the event of additional demand and as soon as the tests are free again, chaos does not break out again.