Free antigen tests for college students announced by Government 8 months ago

Free antigen tests for college students announced by Government

A €9 million fund to provide for tests has been announced.

Colleges are set to give out free antigen tests for staff and students.

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A €9 million fund has been announced by Minister for Education Simon Harris to allow for all third level institutions to purchase the tests.

Minster Harris met Professor Mary Horgan, chair of the Government’s expert group on antigen testing, and NPHET member Dr Breda Smyth on Friday to discuss the decisions.

In a statement released on Sunday, the Minister said:

“The fund is there to buy antigen tests and provide them to students for free, and it’s up to institutions how they decide to do that over the coming months.”

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Harris said it comes as a response to students asking for help with costs.

“I have met with the experts who see benefit in expanding use and I have heard from students who have asked for assistance with the cost," he said.

"I am responding to this with a €9 million fund which will be available for all colleges in Ireland to draw down from to provide free antigen tests on college campuses."

Minister Harris described the new initiative as an extra measure of protection for students, colleges and the entire community.

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He said an awareness campaign will be rolled out to inform students and staff on antigen tests and how to use them appropriately.

He also added that 400,000 students had been able to return to college campuses around the country because public health advice was followed.

The Government previously ruled out free antigen tests for the public and abandoned plans to subsidise tests due to the the fact that many retail outlets had already reduced prices.

Featured Image of Simon Harris via RollingNews.ie

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