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Czech Republic: Overview of the most recent Czech labour law-related emergency Covid-19 measures

March 2021 – The Czech Republic has recently adopted several extraordinary measures to minimise the risk of Covid-19 spread. Below we provide an overview of measures applicable to employers and employees.

Employee testing

On 1 March 2021, an extraordinary governmental measure imposed a new obligation on employers to test employees for the presence of Covid-19. This obligation applies as of 3 March 2021 to businesses with more than 250 employees; subsequently (as of 5 March 2021) it will apply to companies with between 50 to 250 employees. The testing itself must commence on 5 March 2021 in employers with more than 250 employees and on 8 March 2021 in employers with between 50 to 250 employees.

Testing is not mandatory for employers with less than 50 employees – however, it is strongly recommended. Employee testing can be carried out via an occupational physician, an external provider, or by the employees themselves (self-testing). Employees must be tested at least every 7 days.

Tests are covered by public health insurance if performed by a healthcare provider; for self-tests, the contribution provided by the state to employers is CZK 60 per employee test, four times per month.

Company canteens

As of 3 March 2021, meals may only be consumed at company canteens with no more than one diner per table; in the case of long tables, more diners may be seated – if a space of at least two meters is maintained between diners, or if protective screens are placed between diners to prevent the spread of droplets.

Employee respiratory protective equipment

As of 1 March 2021, all employees are obliged to wear respiratory protective equipment such as (i) respirators without exhalation valve meeting at least all technical conditions and requirements, including filtration efficiency of at least 94% according to relevant standards (e.g. FFP2, KN 95) and (ii) surgical face masks meeting at least all technical conditions and requirements of standard ČSN EN 14683 + AC. Homemade or non-medical masks are no longer permissible indoors at the workplace.

An exception is permitted where employees perform work in a single place without the presence of another person. Employers are obliged to equip employees with respiratory protective equipment at their own cost. Protective equipment must be provided in a sufficient quantity and must meet the technical parameters set by the Czech Ministry of Health.

Isolation and quarantine

As of 1 March 2021, new rules apply for mandatory isolations of persons who have tested positive for Covid-19, and also for ordering into quarantine those who have come into “risky” (close) contact with a positively tested person. In such cases, an employee must now spend 14 days in isolation or quarantine; under certain (medical) conditions this can be extended. 14 days of isolation is mandatory from the time of a positive test. For asymptomatic persons, isolation can be terminated no earlier than after 14 days; for those with symptoms, isolation is extended to require three asymptomatic post-recovery days.

Quarantine times for those determined to have had so-called risky contacts are also extended. The minimum mandatory quarantine period is now 14 days from the last contact with the infected person. In cases where family member test positive – and when effective isolation of the infected person from the rest of the family is impossible – all family members must spend at least 14 days in quarantine.

For more information, please contact Ladislava Jasanská, Senior Associate, at , or Sabina Skoumalová, Junior Associate, at .