Firms with up to ten people to secure COVID tests as of April 6

The Czech government approved the mandatory COVID testing for firms with up to ten employees and sole traders meeting other persons at work as of April 6, Finance Minister Alena Schillerova (for ANO) has tweeted.

Consequently, up to four million people will undergo tests for COVID-19 a week, half a million a day on average, in the Czech Republic with a population of 10.7 million, Schillerova added. Deputy Prime Minister and Industry and Trade Minister Karel Havlicek (for ANO) told a press conference after the government meeting that all small companies and the self-employed would have to carry out the first COVID tests by this date at the latest. This would also apply to employees of non-profit organisations. In total, another 1.1 million people will join the obligatory testing, he added.

Checks of the COVID testing of the self-employed will be carried out at random. They will have to submit, for instance, an invoice proving they have purchased the tests or a certificate that they do not meet anyone else at work and that they work from home, meeting only their family members there, Havlicek added. "Blanket testing along with vaccination are our main tickets back to the normal life," she stressed.

Firms with over 250 employees had to complete the first round of their COVID testing until March 12, firms with 50 to 249 workers until March 15 and those with up to 49 employees are obliged to do so by Friday. Moreover, coronavirus tests are mandatory at all public offices and other institutions. The testing must so far be repeated once in seven days. However, the government is considering raising its frequency to twice a week.

Havlicek said another round of the COVID-19 testing must be assessed first. Thanks to the corporate testing, about 3,000 positive people are revealed a day, according to the available estimates. The share of the COVID positive cases drops to about a half in the second round, Havlicek added.

A survey conducted by the Chamber of Commerce shows that 57 percent of firms with more than 50 employees have managed the testing, but 52 percent of firms consider additional costs a problem.

The firms can draw a contribution of 60 crowns a week per employee for the COVID testing from the public health insurance, maximally for four tests per employee monthly. The Chamber of Commerce is of the view that the subsidy should rise at least to 100 crowns because of the current prices of COVID-19 tests. The Confederation of Industry proposes that eight tests be covered, while four a month would be mandatory.

Source: ČTK

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