Government orders companies to test employees for coronavirus
The government has approved mandatory testing in companies. Businesses with more than 250 employees will have to start on Wednesday and test all employees by March 12. Businesses with 50 to 249 people will start testing on Friday, and all employees will need to have the tests ready by March 15. The cabinet will then require staff testing once a week. According to the Minister of Industry and Trade Karel Havlíček, companies will face financial sanctions for non-compliance with mandatory testing. According to him, specific sanctions are still being worked on.
Antigen testing by an occupational physician or an external provider will be possible, as well as self-testing. According to Havlíček, 10,000 companies will test 2.1 million of their employees within two weeks at the latest.
Antigen tests will be able to be performed by an occupational physician or an external provider, but the health insurance company must be the guarantor’s collection point. In this case, testing is fully covered by health insurance up to three times a week, one test per week will be mandatory.
According to Havlíček, not all companies have the means to organize such a system. They can use self-testing. Tests must be purchased from approved suppliers, the list of which is regularly expanded by the Ministry of Health. For self-testing, the state will contribute 60 crowns to the test through health insurance benefits.
According to Havlíček, hygienists will be in charge of checking compliance with the mandatory testing. Companies will face financial sanctions in the event of a breach, and specific conditions will be discussed with the Ministry of Finance and the Ministry of the Interior. According to Finance Minister Alena Schillerová, sanctions will be governed by a pandemic law. The company will be able to be repeatedly fined up to 500 thousand crowns, employees up to 50 thousand crowns.
According to Minister Havlíček (for YES), mandatory testing in companies will not apply to people working from home. In the case of companies that have more branches in the country, their employees add up. If it is a company with more than 50 employees, testing will be mandatory for employees who come to the company.