Free antigen tests available for college students in €9m scheme

Third level institutions will be handing out free antigen tests for staff and students
Free antigen tests available for college students in €9m scheme

James Cox

Third level institutions will be handing out free antigen tests for staff and students.

Under a new €9 million scheme, colleges can apply for funding to purchase the tests.

The Minister for Higher Eduction met Professor Mary Horgan, chair of the Government’s expert group on antigen testing, as well as public health consultant and National Public Health Emergency Team member Dr Breda Smyth on Friday to discuss the new scheme.

Simon Harris says it's in response to students asking for help with the cost of self-testing.

“I have met with the experts who see benefit in expanding use and I have heard from students who have asked for assistance with the cost. I am responding to this with a €9 million fund which will be available for all colleges in Ireland to draw down from to provide free antigen tests on college campuses,” Mr Harris said.

He added that the fund will be accompanied by an awareness campaign around antigen tests and their appropriate use.

Last week the Government abandoned plans to subsidise the tests to bring the price down to €2-€3 each, citing the fact that many retail outlets had already reduced prices to this level.

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