Czech Government Orders Mandatory Blanket Testing of Employees
From March 12th, all employees at companies with over 250 staff must test negative for coronavirus once a week to continue going into work, and this will apply to all companies with over 50 employees from March 15th. Around 2.1 million employees will be tested in the next two weeks. Photo: Ministers at the press conference after the government meeting on March 1 (Cropped). Credit: Vlada.cz.
Czech Rep., Mar 2 (BD) – On Monday, the cabinet of Andrej Babiš (ANO) approved a bill to increase wage compensation for those in compulsory quarantine and an extraordinary measure from the Ministry of Health ordering mandatory testing in companies. The government also agreed to call in more soldiers to help the Czech police.
According to the new measures, large- and medium-sized companies must test all employees in order to continue operating during the pandemic. The state will fund four tests per employee per month. Employees working from home are not required to be tested.
“We are not stopping industry. However, comprehensive testing in companies will be mandatory. This makes them part of the solution to the Covid crisis,’’ said Karel Havlíček (ANO), Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Industry and Trade.
By Wednesday, all companies with over 250 employees must have antigen tests ready to start blanket testing of employees for coronavirus. By Friday, the company must contact employees to be tested, and from March 12th, any employee who has not been tested in the past seven days will not be allowed to enter the work premises. Companies with more than 50 employees must complete testing no later than March 15th.
At a press conference on Monday, Jan Hamáček (ČSSD), First Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of the Interior, confirmed that the government is discussing ways to encourage companies to send as many employees to work from home as possible.