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Luxembourg wants to test its entire population for COVID

Luxembourg wants to test its entire population for COVID

Authorities would like to avoid a lockdown so close to the holiday season

Today, Luxembourg launched a campaign to test the entire country for COVID-19. However, as health authorities have closed large testing centres since the start of 2021, the campaign calls for citizens to do the testing at home. It will be done with antigen tests, which Luxembourgers can pick up from pharmacies with a special letter sent by the government. 

The move aims to pinpoint all active and asymptomatic infections in the country, and, through a brief quarantine period for individuals, avoid mass lockdown measures for businesses.

The many layers of government are interacting to produce the best outcome

The initiative is spearheaded by the Ministry of Health through the hashtag #Lëtzebuergtestsech. It calls for every adult in Luxembourg to perform two self-tests – one on 14 December and one on 17 December. Last week, households received a letter, asking them to pick up a kit of five antigen tests from one of the 98 pharmacies in the Grand Duchy. The letter will allow citizens to pick up the tests for free. 

After the test, people should self-report positive tests to follow quarantine guidelines. According to the Ministry of Health's preliminary estimates, the current positive test rating sits at around 8% to 10%. With that in mind, if a large enough share of the population participates in the initiative, they estimate that they can cut the spread of infectious by half.

At the same time, children and people who work in schools are not targeted by the initiative as they are tested three times a week.  

This will allow the government to avoid instituting lockdown measures, especially for businesses, such as restaurants. Furthermore, it will offer invaluable data on the behaviour of COVID-19 in a vaccinated society. The government has said it plans to publish the data by the end of the week. 



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