Are you traveling, working, or residing in another European country? Do you know where to be tested for Covid-19? PCR, serologic/antibody, antigen, or self-tests: Which tests are practiced in Europe? Thanks to the European Consumer Centres Network, this article presents the rules in various European countries.
There are different types of Covid-19 tests:
- Virological tests (RT-PCR) by nasal or saliva swab that can determine if a person is carrying the virus at the time of the test;
- Serologic tests that determine, by blood sample, if a person has developed antibodies after having been in contact with the virus;
- Antigen (rapid) tests by nasal swab that detect the presence of proteins produced by the virus (antigens) in less than 30 minutes;
- Self-tests that research the presence of antigens and can be administered by the patient them self. The results are known in around twenty minutes.
While PCR, serologic, and antigen tests are used in the majority of European countries, self-tests are under debate. The authorities of these countries fear that poorly executed nasal swabs may lead to false results and that the interpretation of negative results could lead to neglect towards safety measures.
France: Nasal swab self-tests have been authorised by the French National Authority for Health (la Haute Autorité de Santé) on 15 March 2021 and have been sold in some "pharmacies" since 12 April. Today they can also be found in supermarkets. All positive antigen self-tests must then be confirmed by a RT-PCR test.
No. From 7July 2021, Covid-19 tests are charged to foreign tourists coming to France around 49 euros for PCR, 29 euros for antigenic tests.
Be aware: since 15 October 2021, the Covid-19 RT-PCR and antigenic tests requested by non-vaccinated French adults in order to obtain a health pass are not free of charge, except specific situations. These tests are charged between 22 and 45 €.
Affiliated to the French social security, if you had to undergo a screening test (PCR or antigenic) in an EU country because you have symptoms or because it was prescribed by a doctor, it may be covered by your French health insurance.
If you were unable to present your European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) to the screening centre to benefit from the reimbursement, you can fill in the S 3125 form "care received abroad" on your return to France and be reimbursed according to the French rate (flat rate of 35 €) or the rate of the country where you had your test.
Beware: Comfort" tests carried out for administrative reasons (typically to travel by plane, etc.) are not reimbursed. Think about it!
In the European Union, only Austria and Denmark still offer free testing. In the other countries, PCR, antigenic and self-tests are charged for, both for tourists and residents. Find out which tests are available and how much they cost by clicking on the country of your choice below.
In Austria, there are test centres throughout the country set up by the Länder and municipalities.
Tourists can also have a free antigen test carried out there. However, it is necessary to register and indicate a place of residence. Foreign visitors must obtain confirmation from their hotel that they can give their temporary address.
Some testing centres also offer free PCR tests for tourists.
PCR tests carried out by private (non-governmental) providers are subject to a fee. Here is an overview of private laboratories in Austria that offer PCR tests.
There are also private testing centres at Vienna airport. A PCR test costs EUR 69 (EUR 49 for children under 18). For an antigen test, you have to pay 25 euros (15 euros for children under 18).
You can find the latest information on the coronavirus situation in Austria here.
Any person can be tested (PCR test) at their regular doctor’s office, in a laboratory with a medical prescription, or at a screening centre. Consult the list of screening places on the official Belgium website.
The majority of PCR test results are available in 24 or 36 hours but this can take up to 48 hours, or even 72 hours in exceptional circumstances.
Antigen tests conducted by a health professional can no longer be sold directly to consumers.
Self-tests (with a CE marking followed by 4 digits) are authorised in Belgium but are not recommended. These can be purchased at a pharmacy. The waiting period to see results depends on the test.
Belgian citizens are entitled to have 2 tests for free. Extra PCR tests, as weel as those of tourists, need to be paid at a max rate of 55 €. There are quick tests at a max rate of 120 €.
Antigen and PCR tests can be obtained freely in hospitals with a medical prescription or with a fee of 50 to 75€ in medical analysis laboratories or private clinics (for non-residents, for example).
Rapid self-tests are sold between 10 and 20€ in pharmacies without prescription. These results are known between 15 and 60 minutes, depending on the test.
There are no PCR tests for foreigners for free. The price for this test is approx 50-60 € /100-120 BGN.
Residents of Croatia can be tested rapidly and freely at their doctor’s office.
Tourists have to pay for the tests in Croatia.
The price of a rapid antigenic test varies between 100 and 300 HRK (about 13 to 40 €) and that of a PCR test between 300 and 1,000 HRK (about 40 to 133 €).
You can find the COVID-19 test stations in Croatia here.
The results are available within 24 hours.
In Cyprus, tourists who need to perform a test on arrival must pay for it: it costs €15 at Larnaka airport and €19 at Pafos airport.
In laboratories designated by the Ministry of Health, the price of a PCR test should not exceed €50 and €10 for an antigen test.
For travellers leaving Cyprus, prices for PCR tests at Larnaka and Pafos airports range from €50 to €120; €15 for antigenic tests.
According to information from the Czech Ministry of Health, PCR tests are free of charge only for people with compulsory health insurance and only under certain conditions.
Otherwise, the prices of the tests vary between testing centres. However, the Ministry of Health has set price ceilings:
Antigenic test: CZK 201 (about €8),
PCR test: CZK 614 (about €24) for the test itself, plus CZK 200 (about €8) for the sample collection.
More information in English at https://koronavirus.mzcr.cz/en/
In Finland, tourists have to pay to be tested. An overview of providers and prices can be found here.
The Aava Medical Center at Helsinki airport offers both antigen tests (€139 or €127 if you are at least 2 people from the same family) and PCR tests (€189).
Passengers arriving in Finland can be directed to a free Covid-19 test centre at Helsinki airport or port. No free Covid-19 tests are available in the port of Turku.
There are various screening places throughout Germany as well as in certain German airports where passengers can be tested at their own cost (between 128 and 150€). To be tested, you must make an appointment on the website 116117. To find a screening centre in a German state, consult the German government website.
People who present symptoms should visit a doctor, a clinic, or a screening centre to be tested. An appointment can also be made on the website 116117.
Since the 6 March 2021, it is possible to be tested free of charge and rapidly (antigen tests) by health professionals throughout Germany. Each German citizen has the right to one free test every week, except for teachers and students, who have the right to 2 free tests every week, if they have in-person courses.
In addition, you can purchase self-tests in stores, super markets, and pharmacies, but they are often out of stock. The German government warns that these rapid tests are not as reliable as PCR tests and requires that after each positive self-test, a PCR test be performed to confirm the result.
In Greece, you have to pay to be tested. For PCR tests, the Greek government has set a ceiling price of 47 euros maximum. The regulation has been in force since 6 January 2022 and applies to samples taken in private clinics and laboratories. At airports, prices can be higher. For example, a PCR test at Athens airport costs 60 €.
Antigen tests can be performed in testing centres and in many pharmacies. In Greece, the prices for these tests are on average 8 -10 €.
In Hungary, the maximum price for a PCR test is set by law and amounts to HUF 19,500 (about €55).
Antigen tests are available for between HUF 9,000 and HUF 15,000 (approx. €25 to €41).
Information on the Budapest airport screening centre can be found here.
PCR tests at the airport are free for Icelanders and tourists arriving in Iceland.
The same applies if tests need to be repeated after five days.
For travellers leaving Iceland who need a test, the cost is approximately 96 euros.
Tests are carried out in health clinics.
You can find the test centres in Iceland and their opening hours here.
In Ireland, testing is only free under certain conditions (e.g. for people over 40 with symptoms).
Tourists have to pay to be tested.
At Dublin airport, PCR tests start at €59 and antigen tests at €35. Registration is required!
More information on the official Ireland website.
In Italy, tests are free of charge only on medical prescription.
The prices of the tests vary from region to region. For example, PCR tests cost between 50 and 120 euros.
However, for antigenic tests, the Italian government has set the following price ceilings
- 15 euros for adults
- 8 euros for those under 18 years old
- free of charge for people who cannot be vaccinated because of certain diseases.
Antigen tests are offered by many pharmacies in Italy. Otherwise, tests are carried out in public and private institutions
Since 2 December 2021, travellers arriving at Riga Airport are offered a free PCR test.
Otherwise, Riga Airport offers the following tests, among others:
PCR test: 37 euros
Saliva PCR test: 25 euros
Antigen test: 24 euros
Saliva test (non-contact): 25 euros.
There are other testing centres outside the airport. Prices vary and are between 35 and 80 euros.
Testing is not free in Lithuania.
In particular, 24-hour testing is carried out at Lithuanian airports.
At Vilnius airport, PCR tests cost 75 euros (result in 24 hours) and antigen tests 35 euros.
For a rapid PCR test (result in 1.5 hours) you have to pay 140 euros.
You can find more information about testing and making an appointment in Lithuania here.
Covid tests are charged in Luxembourg and the price is freely set by each laboratory.
For example, at the airport, 3 different tests are offered at the following price:
Antigen test: €79
PCR test: €119
PCR express test: 169 €.
Non-Maltese residents must pay 120 euros for a PCR test. This applies to persons aged 5 years and above.
In particular, antigen tests can be carried out at Malta International Airport and cost between 35 and 40 euros.
An appointment must be made in advance. Results are available after 20-45 minutes.
More information on testing centres and how to make an appointment can be found here.
As of 1 October 2021, tests are no longer free of charge in the Netherlands.
Tests can be carried out at various locations. Prices vary. For an antigen test, the average price is between 35 and 40 euros. A PCR test usually costs between 80 and 95 euros.
More information can be found on the website of the Dutch Ministry of Health.
Tests are free for air passengers who need to be tested on arrival in Norway.
In other cases, they have to pay for the tests they need to travel.
PCR tests cost the equivalent of 100-140 euros. For antigenic tests, the price varies between 45 and 150 euros.
For rapid PCR tests, the price is around 250 euros.
In Poland, there is a charge for testing:
Antigenic tests cost between PLN 100 and 200 (approx. 22 to 44 euros).
PCR tests cost between 270 and 600 PLN (about 60 to 132 euros).
At Warsaw airport, prices are PLN 200 (approx. EUR 44) for an antigen test and PLN 520 (approx. EUR 114) for a PCR test.
At Wroclaw airport, prices are PLN 160-200 (about EUR 35-44) for an antigen test and PLN 370 (about EUR 82) for a PCR test.
Results of antigen tests are available in 15-20 minutes, PCR tests in 24-36 hours.
Children travelling with a vaccinated or negative accompanying person do not need a test in Poland.
Tourists entering or transiting Portugal must be in possession of a negative PCR or antigenic test. This also applies to holders of an EU COVID certificate.
In Portugal, prices for tests vary depending on the laboratory and clinic.
On average, prices are
100 to 120 euros for a PCR test
25 to 40 euros for an antigenic test
80-100 euros for a serological test.
More information is available here:
In Romania, you have to pay for the tests.
Prices vary: between 38 and 50 euros for a PCR, between 10 and 15 euros for an antigenic one.
At airports, tests are more expensive. Up to the equivalent of 80 euros for a PCR test and up to 30 euros for an antigenic test.
In Spain, tests are only free if you are a contact case or if you have symptoms of COVID-19. Otherwise you have to pay for your tests. This also applies to tourists.
The tests are carried out by private laboratories, which is why the prices vary considerably.
An antigenic test costs about €50, a PCR test about €100.
In the Balearic Islands, prices are capped: antigenic tests cost a maximum of €30 and PCR tests a maximum of €75. Self-tests are available in pharmacies. Prices vary between €3 and €8 per test. But these tests are not valid for travel.
If you have symptoms, you can be tested for free at a health centre (PCR tests recommended). The results are often given within 3 days, depending on the region.
Otherwise, you have to pay for a PCR test that is necessary for travel.
Prices for PCR tests range from 68 to 245 euros.
Antigen tests are available, among others, in pharmacies and laboratories. In laboratories, prices range from 29 to 58 euros.
More information (in English) on the official Sweden website.
Vaccination against Covid-19 in Europe
To combat the Covid-19 pandemic, the 27 countries of the European Union have started their vaccination campaigns in December 2021.
To know how the vaccination campaigns are advancing in European countries, read the article (in French) from our partner Toute l'Europe "Vaccination contre le Covid-19 en Europe : où en est-on ?"
More information on the rules for travelling with or without vaccinations can be found in our article "Health pass and vaccination".