Health worker wearing sanitary suit performing nose swab

People living in Rome have this week been able to get rapid swabs in pharmacies to detect possible COVID-19 infections, without any need of a medical prescription.

Staring this week local pharmacies are allowed to perform antigenic swabs or, alternatively, serological tests for a fixed cost of €22 to anyone who wants one.

Everyone can book a test directly with his/her local pharmacist and appointments are given approximately every 15 minutes.

People who get the tests are required to give their personal data and are registered into a database where the information is collected by regional health authorities.

"Test can be performed either by doctors, by biologists or by nurses, and results come very quickly. After testing, we send every patient his test output by email", explained Vladimiro Griego, an employee at the Viminale pharmacy in Rome.

On Tuesday a dozen pharmacies began providing this service, while local health authorities announced that at full capacity around 400 drug stores in Rome and 600 in the whole Lazio region will be offering the service.