Válek’s plan to eliminate respirators: the sooner the better

According to Health Minister Vlastimil Válek (TOP 09), the obligation to wear respirators could end first at mass events such as sports matches or cultural productions. Later, people could postpone respiratory protection on public transport and eventually in homes for the elderly.

Responding to reporters’ questions, Válek said that one of the points he is submitting to the cabinet would concern the phasing out of respirators.

The sooner the better

“We are going to talk about several places that will phase out the wearing of respirators. It will be step by step. The most dangerous place to stop wearing respirators, for example, is in healthcare facilities; I think we all understand that,” he said.

The government will also debate a plan to end reimbursement of preventive PCR tests by health insurance starting in March, according to a statement Tuesday by Health Ministry spokesman Ondřej Jakob. These tests are used by people, for example, when traveling. Only tests based on a doctor or health center request would remain free of charge.

Last week, Minister Válek said he would negotiate with insurance companies to cover one preventive PCR test per month.