Difficult to find rapid tests for holidaymakers

Hard to find quick tests for vacationers


Difficult for tourists visiting Quebec to obtain rapid tests whose sale is still not widespread, while the summer season is in full swing and a seventh wave is hitting the province.

“Rapid tests are part of the arsenal we have to control the epidemic, so the more tests are available, the more we can reduce transmission. It's a bit deplorable that the tests are not more accessible [for tourists] “, laments epidemiologist Kévin L'Espérance.

While thousands of tourists flock to Quebec to take advantage of summer in the middle of the seventh wave, two solutions are available to those who want to be tested: take a paid private screening test or buy boxes of rapid screening tests, explains by email the spokesperson for the Ministry of Health and Social Services, Marjorie Larouche.

But it is not so easy to find these, which are not the same as those given by the government to Quebecers.

By pretending to be a European tourist visiting the Belle Province, the Journal representative attempted to obtain rapid screening tests from pharmacists.

Without RAMQ

On a fifteen businesses, only one, in Gaspé, indicated that they sell boxes, the price of which is around $30 for two tests.

Not selling paid tests, some pharmacies still agreed to donate them to the Journal representative to help control infections.

Hard to find quick tests for vacationers

Photo courtesy Benoit Morin, Pharmacist

In Gaspé, Chicoutimi, Quebec, Montreal or Sherbrooke, more than half of the professionals contacted only asked that she present a passport.

In Montreal, a pharmacist, who asked to remain anonymous, says she has difficulty obtaining these tests specially made for sale. 

“ We had some at the beginning of January, but it It was another context and it didn't sell much, and as it expires, the wholesalers don't have a lot of it,” says the one who no longer sells it. 

Need a friend

To help tourists get tested easily, the latter therefore suggests that they come with a friend from Quebec.

“We do everything to help people get tested”, drops the pharmacist.

Because to deliver boxes for free, pharmacists must ensure that the customer has either a card from the Régie de l'assurance maladie du Québec (RAMQ), or a residential address in Quebec , recalls Benoit Morin, president of the Quebec Association of Proprietary Pharmacists.

“In the other waves [the contaminations] were really local. There, we are really in front of a new phenomenon where we have more tourists who are going to need it [de tests]  ”, explains Mr. Morin, who assures that he will encourage his members to provide themselves with tests. paid rapids.

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