Rapid antigen tests are "now sufficiently available on the market," Spahn said, adding that "these testing possibilities can contribute to a safe everyday life, particularly in schools and daycare centers."
Municipalities in Germany could commission COVID-19 test centers or pharmacies to provide such rapid testing services.
Furthermore, COVID-19 self-tests should also be "accessible to everyone" in Germany after their approval by the Federal Institute for Drugs and Medical Devices (BfArM), which is expected soon.
Few historical comparisons are more compelling than the COVID-19 outbreak and history’s greatest pandemic: the Black Death. Its impact upon Europe allows us to speculate about the aftermath of COVID-19. https://t.co/f9YCV5KfOwpic.twitter.com/QF4AcdywZB
The German government has already expanded the use of COVID-19 rapid tests to nursing homes, hospitals and schools. However, all rapid antigen testing with kits currently on the market can only be conducted by trained staff.
Vaccination is currently underway in many European countries. Around 242 candidate vaccines are still being developed worldwide -- 63 of them in clinical trials -- in countries including Germany, China, Russia, Britain, and the United States.
As of Wednesday morning, Germany had recorded 2,352,766 COVID-19 cases and 66,536 related deaths.