How much does a PCR test for coronavirus cost?

The PCR test is the best way to find out if you are a carrier of Covid-19 and thus limit its spread. It has become compulsory to travel abroad, and more and more countries require it. Some countries require a negative PCR test valid for up to 72 hours before departure, while others will require a PCR test on arrival. Many countries also require travel insurance to cover health expenses in the event of Covid-19. How much does a PCR test cost in France? Is there a price difference between PCR tests in different countries? There are now also so-called “antigenic” tests, which provide results in less than 30 minutes. This solution will make international travel easier and will soon be used with the anti-covid passport planned by the airlines, called Travel Pass, like our travel insurance!


What is a PCR test used for?

The PCR test determines whether you are currently infected with the virus, at the time you take the test. It lets you know whether or not you are contagious. Turnaround times vary from laboratory to laboratory. It takes from 24 hours to several days. A PCR test is highly recommended if you have symptoms (fever, cough, headache, fatigue) or if you are a contact case (having been in close contact with an infected or potentially infected person). The PCR test is the first test to be carried out, before the serological test.

How much does a PCR test cost in France?

Most laboratories do not require an advance payment for a PCR test, as it is fully covered by the Assurance Maladie. So you don’t have to pay a thing. Please note that as of July 7, 2021, PCR tests for foreign tourists will be subject to a charge (€49 PCR and €29 antigenic). From the start of the 2021 school year, so-called “comfort” PCR tests will be chargeable for everyone in France Those carried out on medical prescription will still be reimbursed. The aim is to encourage vaccination, which remains the best way to combat the pandemic. The PCR test costs between €54 and €70 for city laboratories. It includes the gross cost of the reagent, quality controls, labor costs for sample and test preparation steps, biological validation time and test interpretation.

What are the other Covid-19 tests?

Serological testing is another possibility. This is a blood test that indicates whether you have sufficient antibodies, which may mean you’ve already been in contact with the virus. However, the serological test is less informative, as it does not clearly indicate whether or not you have Covid-19, unlike the PCR test. You can find rapid serological tests sold in pharmacies without a prescription. This type of test costs between €15 and €25 in France. If you have a prescription and the serological test is carried out in a laboratory or hospital in France, you’ll need to pay €12.15 for an ELISA test (by blood analysis) and €9.45 for a rapid test. In these cases, the test is reimbursed at 100% by the Assurance Maladie. To find out where you can have your PCR test carried out in your area, visit Santé.fr. It lists all the hospitals, laboratories and screening centers in France that offer the PCR test. To limit contact and contamination, you can also get tested by “driving” directly from your car. lists all screening centers accessible by drive.

What should I do if my PCR test is positive?

If the result of your PCR test is positive, you will need to be placed in isolation at home until you recover. Of course, you won’t be able to travel. A health service investigation will be carried out to trace possible contact cases in your environment and encourage them to get tested. If you test negative, you have not been in contact with the virus. You can get on with your life as normal, unless instructed to do so by the approved persons who supervised your test. Of course, stay alert.

Does my Mondassur insurance cover PCR or serological tests for Covid-19?

This depends on the insurance you have taken out and the context of your test. For Mondassur travel insurance, this type of preventive test will not be covered.
For more comprehensive insurance, such asGoldExpat expatriate insurance, Covid-19 tests are covered by your policy as long as you have a medical prescription requiring you to undergo testing.

How and where to have a PCR test before travelling or expatriating?

Before you leave, and even before you book an appointment for a test, find out the precise instructions for the country you’re planning to visit. Instructions and deadlines for negative PCR tests vary from one destination to another. Ideally, you should book an appointment several weeks before your departure, so that the laboratory can guarantee you a result valid no more than 72 hours before your departure. Remember that some countries require a negative PCR test result no more than 3 days old. This is also generally the case for airline boarding. Depending on the country, to obtain a visa, a negative PCR test may be required, or a negative result from a serological test or a rapid diagnostic test (TROD). However, as mentioned above, this can vary from country to country and airline to airline, so be sure to check with them beforehand. To carry out a PCR test, follow the same procedure: go to a medical analysis laboratory, hospital or temporary sampling point. To speed things up, make an appointment by first asking about their conditions, deadlines, rates and availability, and specifying that you need them to fly. Bring a copy of your plane ticket to your appointment, specifying that it is urgent in order to be given priority. Once you have received your results, please check that the result date is within 3 days of the boarding date.

Are PCR tests priced differently in different countries?

The price of a PCR test will vary from country to country. Here are a few examples from Europe, Asia, America and the Middle East. If you identify with one of these countries, we still advise you to check with the authorities in your host country about the procedure to follow if you want to be tested, and about the current price of the test. Whatever the country, healthcare costs abroad are always high, even after currency conversion. To help you avoid spending a fortune on healthcare costs, Mondassur can cover you with its international health insurance, which covers risks linked to epidemics such as Covid-19.

North and South America

In the United States, all medical services are subject to a fee. Even if you have local health insurance, it will only reimburse part of your expenses. You will have to pay the rest of the fees, which are still very high. The price of a PCR test in the USA varies widely depending on the city, state and laboratory where you are tested. This can range from $40 to over $400, with $400 no longer being a reasonable amount. Please note that these prices correspond to the PCR test alone, and do not take into account other costs associated with a visit to the doctor, medication or a trip to the emergency room.
In Quebec (Canada), healthcare costs are also very high. As Canada shares a border with the United States, there are many similarities in the way they operate, particularly in terms of health, drug and hospital costs. For the PCR test, costs vary according to the laboratory that studies the samples. For example, at the Santé Voyage l’Escale clinic, costs range from $120 to $200 Canadian. At the Med Future clinic, you can expect to pay CAD$215 for an in-clinic PCR test and CAD$185 for an in-clinic serological test. At the Med Future clinic, reservations are made online and group prices are available for corporations. In addition to the cost of the test, you’ll need to pay for an appointment with a general practitioner, hospitalization or any other additional expenses.

In Latin America

Prices vary widely from country to country. In some countries, PCR testing is free, but not all. There is a charge for testing in private laboratories. In any case, check with the Ministry of Health or local authorities in the country where you live to avoid unpleasant surprises. Here are a few examples of South American countries:
– In Argentina, PCR tests are performed free of charge. The country’s Ministry of Health is in the process of increasing the number of laboratories authorized to carry out tests.
– In Brazil, the National Complementary Health Agency (ANS) has made PCR testing compulsory for beneficiaries of health plans. This means that people with health insurance don’t have to pay anything for a test. If you don’t have health insurance, check with the relevant authorities.
– In Chile, PCR testing is free of charge in public institutions. In the private sector, on the other hand, you’ll have to pay 60,000 Chilean pesos (around $75 US) to be tested. The Chilean government wants to set a limit, however, because according to Santiago’s La Tercera newspaper, laboratories charge four times too much for the PCR test. For this reason, the government has set a ceiling of 25,000 Chilean pesos, or around US$31.
– In Ecuador, private laboratories can carry out the PCR test at a cost of around US$120. One of the laboratories, Interlab, treats patients either with supplies from the public health and social services system at a cost of US$80, or with supplies from a private doctor at a cost of US$120. In Guayaquil, where 70% of people are infected, the health system has collapsed and residents have decided to carry out their own PCR tests.
– In Uruguay, the Ministry of Public Health provides free PCR tests. In the private sector, you’ll have to pay 6,000 Uruguayan pesos, or around US$141. Please note that the cost of taking the sample must be added to the price of the test. Be sure to ask for the final price when you arrive or make an appointment.
– In Paraguay, the Ministry of Health also provides free tests. Otherwise, the two laboratories San Roque and Curie have been authorized to carry out the PCR test for a price of around US$100.
– In the Dominican Republic, the price of a PCR laboratory test is around 5,500 Dominican pesos, or around US$94.
– Finally, in Mexico, private laboratories charge up to 3,400 Mexican pesos (around US$158) for Coronavirus detection. This is the case, for example, of the Olarte and Biomédica de Referencia laboratories. The latter had in fact been suspended by the Ministry of Health until he fulfilled the necessary conditions to carry out the tests.

In Europe

As far as Europe is concerned, prices also vary widely from country to country. Here are a few country examples:
– In Belgium, the government has decided to make PCR testing free of charge for all patients, whether they are symptom-free, have Covid-19 symptoms or are at risk.
– In Germany, the PCR test is free of charge if requested by a doctor or local health office, or if the person has Covid-19 symptoms. However, to obtain results within 24 hours, you will have to pay €172. Private centers charge for the PCR test, and prices vary from center to center. For example, the tests run by the prestigious Charité Hospital in Berlin cost between €200 and €300 each. This price includes development and production only, but does not include the cost of administration by qualified healthcare personnel.
– In Italy, in the province of Lazio (Rome), the PCR test costs around €13. In other provinces of the country, if you go through the private health system, the price of a PCR test varies between €50 and €80. In Lombardy (Milan) and Emilia-Romagna (Bologna), the price of a PCR test can reach €130.
– In Spain, a PCR test costs between €130 and €240. It is possible to be tested in laboratories, screening centers and hospitals. However, if you are an expatriate in Spain, don’t hesitate to contact the relevant authorities to find out more, particularly about testing and pricing conditions.

– In the UK, private companies offer in-clinic or home testing to speed up the process. The price can go up to £350 for a test carried out by a health professional. For example, the London Doctors Clinic sends a test kit with a ready-to-use swab direct to the home for £189 including postage. This kit provides results within 3 days of the test being returned to the clinic. Assured Screening, a pharmaceutical laboratory based in County Durham, offers the same type of test at home, or in the Barnard Castle test center, for £109. The Private Harley Street Clinic website also offers swab kits that can be ordered and delivered direct to your home for £250. A consultation with a homecare professional will cost £350. According to the company, results are delivered between 20 and 48 hours after return. Other laboratories and clinics offering similar services include DocTap for £129 (+£15 for a professional consultation), Doctorcall for £160 (+£157 for a doctor’s visit), CityDoc for £175, London Global Practice for £315, Medinow for £125 and Private Coronavirus Tests for £149.

If you take the Eurostar, you will be obliged to buy a “pack” to carry out the necessary PCR tests, which greatly increases the price of the ticket, so think twice before spending a few days in the UK…

Other examples of countries

In China, the price of a PCR test varies from province to province and from private hospital to private hospital. In some provinces, prices range from 40 yuan (approx. €5) to 270 yuan in others (approx. €34). In Beijing, for example, a PCR test costs 120 yuan, or around €15. If you choose a private hospital, you’ll have to pay between 400 and 600 yuan (around €50 and €75).
In Russia, it is possible to be tested with or without symptoms. Russia’s healthcare system is universal, but if you don’t have a health card you can also have yourself tested. In a private laboratory with results within 24 hours, the price of a PCR test is around 2,000 rubles, or about €22.

The United Arab Emirates also has a very strict policy on the Coronavirus. However, the Dubai Health Authority has decided to reduce the price of a PCR test. Its aim is to make it more accessible to the public, to encourage them to carry it out, in order to be more proactive and implement measures adapted to the situation. The PCR test was initially billed at AED 370 per person, or around €85, and has been revalued at AED 250 per person, or around €57. Clemenceau Medical Center offers home testing accompanied by a healthcare professional for an additional AED 200, or around €46.

No matter what country you’re in, or what country you’re planning to expatriate to, it’s now essential to have a PCR test (and a negative one if you’re about to leave). Prices vary widely from country to country, depending on health policies and the commercial policies of doctors and laboratories.
It is advisable for people living abroad to take out international health insurance covering this type of Covid-19 test. Mondassur insurances cover costs related to epidemics such as Covid-19. A good solution to save you time, money and energy.

Scroll to Top