Czech government shortens quarantine period, announces compulsory testing at work

The Czech government has decided to shorten the quarantine and isolation period for people who test positive for Covid-19 down to five days, Prime Minister Petr Fiala announced on Wednesday. The measure will start from next Tuesday.

Meanwhile, Health Minister Vlastimil Válek announced that all employees in the Czech Republic will have to be tested from January 17, using antigen self-testing kits. Testing will take place either twice a week, or once every three to five days. If the test is positive, the individual will have to self-isolate for five days. The tests will be paid for through health insurance. If the person does test positive, they will have to take a subsequent PCR test at an official testing facility. The system will be in place for a period of two to three weeks, as the government monitors the development of the expected omicron wave. Those who refuse to get tested will have to accept further restrictions, such as the wearing of respirators, working from home, or in isolation from their colleagues.

The number of free PCR tests for vaccinated people residing in the country has been raised to five per month.

Furthermore, vaccinated individuals and those who have successfully recovered from a Covid-19 infection will have to go into quarantine if they came into contact with a coronavirus infected individual. Until now, this group was exempt from quarantine if the infected person was not living in the same household.

Interior Minister Vít Rakušan said that two million coronavirus tests will have to be purchased for workers in state institutions. He expects that they should become available after the middle of January.