Relying on more home COVID tests, Israel looks to lower costs

By Dan Williams

JERUSALEM (Reuters) -Israel sought on Sunday to ease access to home COVID-19 tests after a decision to allow most vaccinated people to use the kits to decide whether or not to quarantine led to shortages in shops and complaints about high prices.

“We are mindful of the public’s distress,” Prime Minister Naftali Bennett said at the weekly cabinet meeting, announcing that every child in kindergarten or elementary school in Israel would be issued will three free kits in the coming days.

The government was also negotiating price reductions with major pharmacy chains, Bennett said, adding: “In any event, costs will come down in the near future because the market will be flooded with millions of kits that will arrive in Israel.”

The kits cost around 25 shekels to 35 shekels ($8 and $11) in Israeli stores, many of which have reported running out. Nachman Ash, director-general of

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