COVID19 tests now available to buy in pharmacies in Spain without prescription
Before today, if you wanted to buy a self-diagnostic test, it was only possible with a prescription. Following the Minister of Health's announcement, we can now buy the self-tests without the prescription being necessary.
These tests allow us to carry out the tests without the intervention of a healthcare professional, hopefully reducing pressure on healthcare centres and allowing the rapid identification of positive cases.
There are two types of tests available:
The antigen test are intended to be used within seven days of the suspected infection, with the first symptoms. The test is, broadly speaking, similar to the well-known PCR, and is responsible for detecting at the time the sample is taken, if the person is infected.
There are various brands of the test available but they all share the same guideline: a swab of about 3 centimetres that must be inserted to the bottom of a nostril and/or throat (depending on the brand), with the results in 15 minutes.
The antibody test is carried out to detect if a person has been infected and has developed antibodies or immunity against it.
This antibody self-test, also known as a serological test, works by drawing a small amount of blood from the finger. The results are quite fast and do not take more than five minutes to tell if the person has had Covid19 and developed their immunity, therefore it is NOT useful to detect if they have the virus at the time of taking the sample.
There are no fixed prices for these tests although you can expect to pay approximately 10€ per test. A little more for the antibody tests.
Important Although these self-diagnostic tests will be available to everyone in all pharmacies in Spain, they will not have official validity, you will not be able to use them as proof that you have had the virus, nor will their results be valid in the case of going on holiday, for example. They are to be used for personal monitoring of the virus, nothing else.