EU member states agreed on Wednesday on mutual recognition of antigenic tests on the eve of a new European summit by videoconference dedicated to coordinating the fight against the pandemic, diplomatic sources have learned.
A written procedure has been launched to confirm this agreement before the start of the summit.
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Antigen testing does not require laboratory analysis, and the result can be known on the spot within 10 to 30 minutes.
But they are less reliable than PCR tests.
The European Commission has been advocating since last November for the use of rapid antigenic tests, in addition to PCR tests, in order to contain the spread of the virus, detect contamination, and limit isolation or quarantine measures.
These rapid tests are seen as a solution for travelers returning from a non-European country.
France demanded this mutual recognition of antigenic tests.
Between France and Ireland, the PCR tests work, because we have the same, but the antigenic tests do not work, because Ireland does not recognize them yet
", had lamented Sunday the French Secretary of State Clément Beaune .
The Commission recommends using it “
in specific situations
”, to promptly identify contamination in a new focus of the epidemic or to monitor “
people at high risk
”, such as medical personnel or in retirement homes.