No Requirement To Wear Respirators For Those With Medical Exemption
Those who cannot wear respirators for health reasons will now be exempted from the requirement to wear them, if they can provide certification from their doctor, Health Minister Adam Vojtěch told reporters at a press conference today. The proposal was approved by the cabinet at a meeting this morning. Photo Credit: Vlada.cz.
Czech Rep., Jul 30 (BD) – Those who are unable to wear a respirator for health reasons will now be exempted from wearing them if they can provide certification from their doctor, following a decision by the cabinet this morning. The new measure was announced by Health Minister Adam Vojtěch at a press conference after the meeting.
The amendment is part of a new emergency measure on mouth and nose protection, issued by the government to replace the previous rules, which were annulled this week by the Supreme Administrative Court (SAC), citing a lack of legal justification.
According to Vojtěch, “The court did not question the extraordinary measure itself, but demanded a more detailed justification. We respect its opinion and have tried to meet the requirements as much as possible. We added data from international expert studies which demonstrate the importance of protecting the airway and its positive impact on mitigating the spread of disease. We consulted experts on the text of the amended measure. We sent it to the hygienic stations, health institutes and experts of the Interdisciplinary Group on Epidemic Situations (MeSES) for comment.” Vojtěch added that the wearing of respirators or facemasks is a basic measure against the spread of Covid-19, and is recommended by international institutions such as the World Health Organisation.
The court also requested that the Czech Ministry of Health should consider whether the health risks of wearing a respirator could outweigh the epidemiological benefits of respiratory protection in some individual cases.
“People who cannot wear a respirator for health reasons should wear a lower degree of protection, such as facemasks,” said Vojtěch. “In exceptional cases, if they can’t even wear those, then they are exempted from wearing any protection, with an obligation to provide a medical certificate from the doctor that should be recorded in medical documentation so that it can be checked whenever needed.”
“According to the experts, people who cannot wear a respirator, for example those with asthma, are very negligible in number,” he added.