Overview: What’s changing from Monday?

From Monday, January 17 there are changes to the coronavirus precautions. They will mainly affect testing at work and in schools. 

Testing in schools 

  • In schools, staff and students will now be tested once a week with an antigen test, whereas in January they were previously tested twice a week. If the test is positive, this will be followed by verification by a PCR test.
  • Due to the exam period, the obligation to test will not apply to university students.

Testing at work

  • Employees will have to be tested twice a week or once every three to five days with an antigen test.
  • After a positive result, they will be quarantined for five days and will not have to undergo another PCR test. If they take it at their own request, a negative result may end their quarantine earlier.
  • If the employee refuses the test, the employer is obliged to report it to the health authorities. The untested employee must then follow protective measures: wear a respirator, keep a distance of at least 1.5 metres if possible, and eat separately from other people.

Testing of health workers

  • From Monday, January 17, all unvaccinated health and social services workers will be tested once a week with a professionally collected antigen test or twice a week with a self-test like other employees. Until now, only inpatient facilities have had to test unvaccinated employees.
  • Under the emergency measure, there will continue to be an exemption from testing for vaccinated workers or workers who have had COVID-19 disease in the last six months. 

Workplace quarantine

  • In exceptional circumstances, health and social care workers who have tested positive for the antigen can enter what is known as a ‘work quarantine’.
  • They can come to work with a positive test, but they must limit their movement around the workplace and contact with others, wear a respirator at all times, and eat separately from others. 
  • The condition is that those who test positive do not have symptoms of COVID-19 and that the employer is unable to continue to provide care for patients or clients without these employees.
  • The decision on occupational quarantine will be made by the relevant health authority. 

Reimbursement of tests

  • Starting January 17, health insurance will cover five PCR tests for coronavirus per calendar month for people who have completed vaccination. Until now, only two tests per month were eligible, while vaccinated people and people with contraindications were entitled to five tests.
  • Unvaccinated people over the age of 18 do not have their tests covered by public health insurance. They pay about CZK 800 for a PCR test.

Ski training courses

  • As of Monday, January 17, ski training courses for children and adolescents aged 6 to 18 can be organised, for example, by hobby organisations or organisers of recreational, sporting and recovery events.
  • Until now, these rules have only applied to the organisation of school ski courses. 
  • The rules for testing in ski courses are the same as in schools.