Great confusion at a test station in the north of Berlin.

"Why 10 euros?" asks an elderly lady and points to the price notice on the white container.

"I thought there were three." In fact, since the new Corona test regulation came into force on Thursday, there have been three categories of billing.

The completely free tests are available to so-called vulnerable groups.

These include children under five, women in the first trimester of pregnancy, relatives of people infected with Covid, disabled people in institutions, chronically ill people who cannot be vaccinated, caring relatives, members of the household of an infected person and visitors to old people's homes, clinics, dialysis centers, hospices or other medical and nursing positions.

People with positive PCR tests who want to test themselves out of isolation

Christian Geinitz

Business correspondent in Berlin

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Customers who attend indoor events, who have contact with people aged 60 or more or with high-risk patients with disabilities or previous illnesses must pay an additional fee of three euros.

Even if the Corona-Warn-App lights up red, you can have yourself examined for a deductible of 3 euros.

“For everyone else, the state does not pay for a corona test,” says the notice.

"We offer to carry out the test for 10 euros." By the way, PCR tests after a positive quick test are still free of charge.

Anyone who wants to have a smear taken here must first fill out a form online or on paper.

In addition to the personal data, the reason for the test must also be given.

There are five boxes for the completely free version (child, pregnant and so on), for the EUR 3 deductible there is the option of the “Quick Risk Exposure Test” category, for the EUR 10 alternative there is the “Paid Test” box. .

truthful information

The person willing to take the test confirms with their signature that they belong to the selected group and that they have provided "truthful information".

Except in the case of 10 euros, the reasons for the test should be proven, for example by means of ID cards, certificates, certificates or credible explanations.

However, the procedure is not very clear, because the notice says: "Sometimes proof is required, such as tickets for events." For home and clinic visitors, the ward has a form ready in which the facility confirms with a stamp and signature that the applicant "A person who is cared for and accommodated by us visits".

For each event-related test, the station no longer receives EUR 11.50 as it did two days ago, but only EUR 9.50.

As a rule, 6.50 euros come from the state and 3 euros from those who have been tested.

In the case of vulnerable groups, the authorities reimburse the total amount.

However, there is no reimbursement for tests outside of the specified occasions, which is why the station operator, a doctor, charges 10 euros.

“Why not 9.50 euros?

Well, cash handling is already tedious enough, we didn't want to have to spend 50 cents all the time," says the man in the light blue polo shirt.

People have the spare change and are willing to pay

Around 200 tests a day take place at the test site, which has not changed significantly since the reorganization.

"People have the small change and are willing to pay," says the boss.

"I also think that's right, because there was a lot of fraud, it has to be curbed." In irregular times, the operators counted the test sheets in the evening and reported the number to the accounting offices without checking.

"Nobody noticed whether you had billed for 100 or 1000 tests," says the doctor.

"That literally invited cheating."