Rapid test centers in Berlin hardly used to capacity - more and more are closing down
With a total capacity of more than 4.7 million rapid tests per week, only 741,000 tests were performed in Berlin last week. This corresponds to a utilization rate of 16 percent, as the health administration announced in response to an inquiry.
The number of private providers in Berlin has therefore fallen recently. Currently, 1081 private rapid test stations are still registered on the site of the Senate Department for Health. That's almost a third less than at the beginning of June, when there were more than 1,500. Their number is dropping by a few dozen every day - because the business model of free citizen tests, which was lucrative for a few weeks, is hardly worth it for many providers."The offer of test-to-go sites is based solely on economic considerations of the operators," a spokesman for the health administration said in this regard. With a rapid increase in opening offers without mandatory testing, more test-to-go sites are expected to close in the coming days, he said.
"How high that number will be, however, is impossible to predict," the spokesman said. Most recently, the requirement to present a negative Corona test had been abolished in many areas, such as outdoor restaurants and retail stores.Although new test stations will continue to be registered in isolated cases, they will only be approved on the basis of need, strict examination and consultation with the districts. A proliferation as a few weeks ago, when every kiosk, arcade or bar in the city center could operate its own test station, is to be avoided at all costs.
Another reason for the disappearance of some centers could be the increasing controls. As of June 15, police have 48 investigations underway on suspicion of operator billing fraud.As of July 1, the federal test regulation will also be tightened. No longer six euros but only 3.50 euros will be paid out per corona test, as the prices for the materials have fallen sharply. Operators will be examined individually during the approval process. In the future, they will also be obliged to transfer test certificates to the Corona warning app.
Image by Wilfried Pohnke