Can restaurateurs check the infection-free status of their customers, or do they have no right to do so? According to constitutional lawyer Jan Wintr, it is on edge, and lawyers have differing opinions on the subject.
“Back in July, we discussed this at a meeting of the Legislative Council of the Government. I believe that if the situation is serious, it is on edge, but it is possible. But some members of the council had doubts that it couldn’t be done, ” Wintr mentioned. He said the emergency measure, which the government approved from 1 November, must be interpreted through the Public Health Protection Act.
“The reasoning was that infection-free inspections are carried out in swimming pools and mass events, for example, so why not in restaurants. However, the objection against this is that such a significant regulation of restaurant establishments is not possible in view of the ruling of the Supreme Administrative Court. The latter interprets the law to mean that these places can only be regulated if they are in a hotbed of disease, not across the board, ” the constitutional lawyer said.
“In my opinion, an alternative interpretation would be that under the Public Health Protection Act, both emergency vaccination and emergency testing can be ordered. And that could also apply to people who go to the pub, bearing in mind that the pub is a particularly high-risk place, ” Wintr said.
“But this is a complicated line of reasoning that has led some members of the Legislative Council of Government to believe that it is not possible,” he added.
It works in Europe
Constitutional lawyer Ondrej Preuss believes the measure is feasible. “It is impractical to a certain extent, but I don’t see it as unconstitutional or illegal,” Preuss emphasized.
“It’s the same situation as with cultural institutions or hairdressers. I understand the concerns of restaurateurs that it will be difficult for them, but it works without problems elsewhere in Europe, for example, in Austria, Italy, or Spain, ” Preuss said.