The government has extended the measures up to 28 March and expanded the mandatory testing to public employers with less than 50 employees

The valid anti-epidemic measures will be valid in the Czech Republic with small modifications a week longer, up to 28 March. The government of Andrej Babiš decided to extend them in an extraordinary meeting on Thursday, 18 March 2021. It also approved the further expansion of the mandatory testing of employees for the remaining employers in the private sector.

Among the new changes to the anti-epidemic measures, which will come into effect on Monday 22 March, will be the expansion of the possibility to go on trips to nature or to exercise on the territory of the entire district. Now an exception to the ban on leaving the district will also apply to parents for contact with their minor children or visits of close persons for children in foster families or institutional or protective care. The exception to limited contact with members of other households will now also apply for parents’ contact with children.

The Ministry of Health also made small changes to the measures ordering the wearing of protective respiratory coverings. The change applies to officials and employees of the basic units of the integrated rescue system, which will also be able to use a mask or half-mask fulfilling all the technical conditions and requirements (for the product) of standard ČSN EN 140 +A1 from 20 March. The passage concerning the wearing of protective coverings during sports was also clarified.

There will also be a change from 20 March 2021 for visits to patients in health-care facilities providing long-term or follow-up inpatient care. Now at such visits, people who can prove that either they have undergone the Covid-19 disease in the last 90 days or have been completely vaccinated for more than 14 days will be exempt from the obligation to submit a valid negative test for Covid-19. The same rule will also apply for the exception from the mandatory quarantine for clients of social service facilities who have gone on leave outside of the complex or are accommodated in them.

The government also decided on the further expansion of mandatory testing of employees. From 30 March, the ban on the presence of untested employees will also apply to workplaces of public employers who employ less than 50 people. Municipalities, public universities, security forces and the army are considered to be such employers. These employers have the obligation to begin the testing of their employees no later than from 23 March. The Ministry of Health also issued the same measures with the same dates for schools and education establishments that, on the basis of government decrees, provide the necessary care for the children of the integrated rescue system and other selected professions. The same conditions apply for these employees and employers as for employees in sectors where a system-wide measure for mandatory testing has already been introduced.

The cabinet also discussed the parliamentary proposal for an amendment to the Act on the Regulation of the Provision of the Care-giver’s Allowance in connection with the Extraordinary Measures during the Epidemic and the related amendments to the Act on Sickness Insurance. The proposers want to support families with small children, for whom elementary schools, preschools and other education establishments were closed due to a government decision, so that the care-giver’s allowance will increase from the current 70 to 80 per cent of the daily assessment base for the duration that the ban on school attendance will apply. At the same time, the class of beneficiaries of parents of children with special educational needs was also expanded. After the discussion, the government approved this proposal.