Czech Government Decriminalizes COVID-19 Spread and Considers Changes to Labor Laws

The government of the Czech Republic has removed COVID-19 from the list of diseases whose spread is considered a criminal offense. The move comes as the country looks to relax its pandemic restrictions, with the mandatory isolation for infected patients set to be lifted in April, according to Health Minister Vlastimil Vacek. The government of Prime Minister Petr Fiala decided to remove COVID-19 from the list of criminal offenses.

The Health Ministry has also proposed that the treatment of COVID-19 should be left to doctors, who will make decisions about isolation based on factors such as the patient’s health, their surroundings, and their work.

The spread of infectious diseases has been a criminal offense in the Czech Republic, with an introductory sentence of six months to three years in prison. Other illnesses on the government’s list of criminal offenses include cholera, plague, AIDS, sexually transmitted diseases, salmonellosis, SARS, diphtheria, and tuberculosis.

Apart from the decision to remove COVID-19 from the list of criminal offenses, the Czech government is also considering a new amendment to the Labor Code. The amendment would entitle so-called “contractors” to paid leave, while employees working from home would receive a flat-rate allowance from their employers. The parents of children aged nine and under would also have the right to shorter working hours or the ability to work from home.

The move to ease restrictions and lift mandatory isolation requirements comes as the Czech Republic emerges from a long period of lockdowns and other pandemic measures. The country has recently seen a significant reduction in new infections and deaths, with officials hoping to reopen schools, restaurants, and other businesses.

The government’s decision to remove COVID-19 from the list of criminal offenses is a significant step towards returning to normalcy and rebuilding the economy.