Do I still have to get the PCR test without being in quarantine?

Thu 17th Nov, 2022

Image by Frauke RietherEven though we have been trying to come to terms with the corona virus for more than two years, to protect ourselves and stick to current rules, often we lose the overview. Are masks compulsory right now, and if so, where? Do masks have to be worn indoors again in the fall? And what do I actually have to do if my rapid test is positive? Spoiler: The PCR test is then not mandatory.

There was a time during the pandemic when it seemed obvious: Anyone with a positive rapid test would go for a PCR test to be absolutely sure whether he or she had contracted the coronavirus. But that is no longer the case, because a positive rapid test is not reportable, according to the Federal Ministry of Health.

But what if I want to self-insure - will I get a PCR test? "If you want to do a PCR test, a positive self- or rapid test result is now sufficient for this again, respectively. The typical corona symptoms when the doctor orders a PCR test," according to a recent report in the Stuttgarter Nachrichten.

Positive rapid test result no longer obligates to quarantine

And what about quarantine? Anyone in Baden-Württemberg who has a positive result after a Corona rapid test is not automatically quarantined or obliged to do so. Until November 15, 2022, the quarantine obligation did not apply until a rapid antigen test performed by trained personnel or a PCR test was also positive.

However, anyone who now tests positive for the coronavirus in Baden-Württemberg will no longer have to go into domestic isolation for at least five days, as was previously mandatory, from Wednesday (November 16). The quarantine obligation is omitted, as reports - instead, a five-day mask obligation applies to positives.

Nevertheless, anyone who has to assume from a rapid test result that they have contracted Corona will be asked by the authorities - and presumably also by their fellow human beings - to behave responsibly. At best, that means voluntary isolation until the symptoms pass.

What do I need a PCR test for, anyway?

Are PCR tests then only available to do favors for unsafe people? No, of course it's not that simple. There are indeed situations in which the PCR result is needed; always "when an infection or a non-infection with the coronavirus has to be officially proven. So, for example, when traveling or when issuing certificates of recovery and vaccination."

Image by Frauke Riether


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