– Renew Europe to propose price cap and propose limited number of free tests per person –

Fianna Fáil MEP, Billy Kelleher has said that the affordability of Covid 19 PCR tests must be addressed as part of the rollout of the EU’s Digital Green Certificate.

Kelleher, and his political group, Renew Europe, will table a resolution on the cost of PCR tests as part of the debate on the Digital Green Certificate.

“In Ireland, and right across the EU, vaccinations, as a public health tool, is free for the citizens. The same cannot be said for PCR tests.

“Of course, in Ireland, for those presenting with symptoms, and for those attending the special pop-up asymptomatic testing centres, a PCR test is free. However, these facilities are not available in every town and village in the country.

“Costs for PCR tests can range from €99 to well over €200. This is widely prohibitive and counter-productive. PCR testing will be with us for many years to come so we must put in place mechanisms to ensure the cost is proportionate and affordable.

“It is expected that in the future, even when people are fully vaccinated, other countries for example will require a negative PCR result before they let people enter. Those visiting Ireland will also more than likely have to have a negative PCR result after five days to leave self-quarantine.

“Companies should be aware of this, and price accordingly. If they are unwilling to so, and continue to gouge out of the pockets of citizens and future tourists, the EU and Member State governments must step in, and apply price controls.

“Freedom of movement is not for the well-off only. Renew Europe will propose a number of free tests per citizens and a temporary price cap. We have done it before with roaming charges and credit card fees. We should do it again,” concluded Kelleher.