Employee testing for all is back from 17 January 2022. What do you need to prepare for?
From Monday, 17 January 2022, the Ministry of Health will renew the obligation to test all employees, including those fully vaccinated and those who have had the booster vaccination. Employees are obliged to get tested twice a week, and the time period between the two tests needs to be minimum of three days and maximum of five days.
How will testing take place in companies?
Testing will be organised using self-testing kits, which must be provided by the employer. The employer should have entitlement to reimbursement of CZK60 per test from the public health insurance. Moreover, employers will have to have evidence of all performed COVID-19 tests (eg using Excel app), where they will provide:
- date of testing
- test result
- name of the employee
- date of birth
- insurance number
- health insurance company code
This information will have to be stored for at least 90 days.
Can the employee refuse to be tested at the workplace?
If an employee refuses to take the test, they will still be able to remain at work – however, the following obligation will have to be fulfilled. This person must an wear FFP2 (or higher) respirator at all times, they will have a separate space to eat lunch and other meals and they must keep a distance of 1.5m from other employees. Like now, failure to comply with the obligation to undergo testing will be dealt with by the relevant health authority, to which the employer is obliged to report the situation.
Exceptions for testing can only be made for people who either:
- have returned a negative PCR test in the last 72 hours;
- have tested negative for an antigen test performed by a professional the last 24 hours; or
- are undergoing testing with another employer.
All three exceptions will have to be proven to the employer either by TEČKA app or by a written affidavit of the second employer.
- At the same time, the testing obligation still does not apply to employees who do not have contact with other persons in the course of their work (typically a home-office employee).
What are the steps if an employee tests positive?
In the case of positive result, the employee is obliged to leave the workspace with a FFP2 (or higher and always without exhalation valve) respirator and start the five-day quarantine (the day of the test is day 0). This quarantine could be cancelled with a negative PCR test result.
Finally, it is possible that the restrictions will be modified before they will become efficient. The Minister of health has already stated that an institute of "work quarantine" (possibility to work, even though positive under some circumstances) will be proposed soon, coming into effect from 17 January 2022.
At the same time as the quarantine, self-isolation (with a positive PCR test) will be shortened to only five days from 11 January. The quarantine can be terminated after five days at the earliest, if the employee shows no signs of COVID-19 for the last two days. The universal testing should remain in force for two or three weeks only, then the system will be modified according to the current epidemiological situation.