At present, the following restrictions are in effect the Czech Republic.
1. Restriction of free movement and Wearing masks
• As of March 1, 2021, all persons are prohibited from leaving the district of their permanent residence. An exception to the ban is provided for:
• All persons who have reached the age of at least 15 are obliged to prove, when checked, the use of one of the above-mentioned exceptions for completing a trip outside the district of their permanent residence.
• Free movement of persons throughout the territory of the Czech Republic is also still restricted, so that in the period from 5:00 and 20:59 only:
• Between 21:00 and 04:59, however, the free movement of a person is prohibited more strictly, with the following exceptions:
• All persons should:
• From 1 March 2021, all persons in the Czech Republic must wear respiratory protective equipment (mouth and nose) such as a respirator without breathing ventilation (FFP2, KN 95) or medical face masks, namely:
• From obligation to wear respiratory protective equipment is exempted e.g.
• From 30. 1. 2021 it is possible to visit patients in medical facilities only if it is:
• There are still restrictions on the right to gather peacefully is restricted, so that a maximum of 100 people can attend the meeting, in groups of 20 participants.
• From 9 December 2020 the consumption of alcoholic beverages on public premises is prohibited.
2. Foreign travel and entry of foreign nationals
• With regard to the reintroduction of restrictions on free movement from 18 December 2020, foreigners may also come to the Czech Republic only in strictly necessary cases, such as:
• Currently, the Ministry of Health keeps a list of countries with a low risk of infection. Countries are divided into three categories: green, orange, red and dark red.
• The list of countries includes green countries (low risk) and orange countries (medium risk) and red counstries (high risk). All other countries not on the list are considered to be at high risk of infection (dark red countries).
• Persons traveling from orange, red or dark red countries are obliged to:
• Other obligations of travellers:
• Only following persons are exempted from the above-mentioned obligations:
• Persons traveling or returning to the Czech Republic for the purpose of work or teaching are subsequently obliged to submit to their employer or educational institution a negative test result, which these persons take in the Czech Republic, otherwise they will not be allowed to enter the workplace or educational institution.
• Other third-country nationals traveling from "red" countries, if they do not fall under one of the above exceptions, will be allowed to enter the territory of the Czech Republic only:
• Controls of foreign countries citizens are randomised, but when asked those persons are obligated to prove the purpose of their travel.
• From 15 February 2021, Germany included the Czech Republic in the list of extremely contagious areas and thus reintroduced border control, Only workers in transport or commuters can be admitted to Germany.
• From 26 February 2021 it is forbidden to travel to countries with an extreme risk of contracting COVID-19. The ban applies in particular to countries where new coronavirus mutations are occurring. These countries are: Botswana, Brazil, Swaziland, South Africa, Kenya, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Tanzania (including Zanzibar and Pemba), Zambia and Zimbabwe.
• The Ministry of the Interior has prepared a graphic HERE for clarity, in which all the rules for the arrival of Czech citizens and foreigners in the Czech Republic are clearly stated.
3. Mandatory quarantine
• Quarantine is ordered for the period of 10 days.
• all providers of health services in the field of general practice are required to order quarantine
• Quarantine does not have to be ordered
• In the event that a person who has been "only" ordered to quarantine (this person does not exhibit symptoms) occurs in a common household, the quarantine is not automatically ordered for the whole household and all its members. In this case, it is recommended:
4. Closure of schools
• From 27 February 2021, the personal presence of students and pupils at classes in all school and teaching facilities is prohibited.
• The only exceptions are:
• The regional governors are ordered to designate a school facility in which the necessary care could be provided for children from 3 to 10 years of age, if their parents are employees of:
5. Ban on public and private events
• Mass events of important state interest or important sport events may take place according to hygienic and epidemiologic conditions set by Ministry of Health for each separate event.
• Concerts and other musical, theatrical, film and other artistic performances can take place only without the presence of spectators.
• A maximum of 15 people can attend weddings and funerals.
• From 27 December 2020 the assembly of churches or religious society can be held only in the number of participants equal to 10% occupancy of seats.
6. Retail and services
• From 1 March 2021 all the retail and service establishments are still closed, with the following exceptions:
whereas in these open establishments it is not possible to sell goods other than those which can be purchased in other open establishments (ie clothing or footwear)
• Accommodation services can be provided from 30 January 2021 only to
• Public catering establishments can provide their services only through the so-called dispensing windows, and only between 05:00 and 20:59.
• During public holidays or public days between 21:00 and 4:59, it is only possible to operate:
• In all retail outlets and the provision of services that may be opened, the operator is obliged to comply with the following rules:
• Shopping centers with a sales area exceeding 5000 m2 are required to:
• Farmers' markets can only take place if:
• The operation of ski lifts and cable cars is prohibited, except for the use of cable cars to ensure supply.
Behaviour of employees in the workplace and obligations of the employer
It seems that the second COVID-19 wave has arrived and is worse in terms of infectivity. Stores and services are once again forced to close, and other employers are obliged to ensure home office for their employees, if the conditions of service and the nature of their work allow so. It is still necessary for people in the workplace to be considerate of each other and to comply with following rules.
Employers should constantly monitor the situation regarding the development of the coronavirus epidemic and adapt their work activities accordingly.
The employer is still generally obliged to comply with the requirements relating to safety and health at work. It should therefore assess all the risks associated with the performance of the work in question and take appropriate measures to that end, in particular in the form of:
• informing employees (and possibly trade unions) about the current situation, the need for prevention against infection (e.g. increased compliance with hand hygiene) and about newly adopted measures;
• consider the need to travel abroad and meet in person with business partners, and to make maximum use of distance communication;
• prevent the gathering of customers and employees (e.g. in the elevator, when boarding shifts, in changing rooms);
• require customer spacing of at least 2 meters (compliance with staff spacing can also be recommended);
• place disinfectants for employees and customers close to busy places (handles, railings) and often ventilate;
• order employees to wear gloves when contacting goods or receiving payments from customers, and provide them with them;
• instruct employees with COVID-19 symptoms (fever, cough, loss of taste and smell, etc.) not to come to the workplace;
• check the safety of the machines used and the possible expiry of the inspection certificates;
• if possible, allow employees to work from home.
Employers who employ employees who have arrived from risk countries are obliged to request from the employee a negative result of the test, otherwise they must not allow these persons to enter the workplace.
If the employee arrived from:
• Orange-level risk country, they can be admitted to the workplace after submitting a negative result of an antigenic (no older than 24 h) or PCR test (no older than 72 h), which the employee was forced to submit when crossing the border,
• Red-level risk country, they can be admitted to the workplace after submitting a negative result of an antigenic (no older than 24 h) or PCR test (no older than 72 h.), which they undertook within 5 days after arrival in the Czech Republic,
• Dark red-level risk country, they can be admitted to the workplace after submitting a negative result of an antigenic (no older than 24 h) or PCR test (no older than 72 h.), which they undertook at least 5 days after the arrival in the Czech Republic.
If employers fail to comply with above stated obligation, they are under a risk of fine up to CZK 1.000.000 according to the Public Health Protection Act or risk of criminal liability for spreading of contagious disease, even from negligence.
Employees working for providers of long-term inpatient care, care services or social services or in a home for the elderly who come into direct contact with patients or service users are required to undergo a test for the presence of the SARS virus once every 5 days from 21 November 2020. CoV-2.
Monitoring the private lives of employees
Employees may be required to provide information on the risks associated with coronavirus, such as whether they have not been abroad or have met an infected person. On the other hand, it may be difficult to punish employees for a false or incomplete answer.
Practically we advise employees to notify their employer if they have been abroad and of the obligation to contact their attending physician in case of symptoms of an infectious disease, as well as the possible consequences that concealing the journey to abroad may have, including compensation of damages, labour law and misdemeanour offences, and in extreme cases, criminal liability.
Likewise, the employer has the right to strongly advise employees not to travel privately to countries with a high risk of infection. But it cannot forbid private trips altogether.
What to do with an employee suspected of being infected?
If the employer is worried that the employee may be infected, we recommend agreeing (by telephone) with the employee that they report their health condition to their personal doctor or the relevant regional public health station. They will decide on the need to perform a coronavirus test and to possibly order quarantine.
In the event that it is decided that there is no need to test the employee, the employee can come to one of the collection points himself and have himself tested at his own expense. However, the employer cannot compel the employee to do so.There may be a case where the symptoms of COVID-19 can be seen in the employee, but the disease has not been confirmed by a doctor. However, as a precautionary measure and as a result of compliance with the precautionary obligation, the employer may endeavour not to keep the employee in the workplace, even if the employee insists on performing the work.
The conclusion as to whether this is an obstacle on the part of the employer or the employee is not clear, however, we are of the opinion that in most cases it will be an obstacle in the performance of work on the part of the employee, for which he will not be entitled to compensation. the employee is not fully capable of performing work.
In this situation, we recommend that you agree with the employee on another, alternative performance of work, e.g.:
• Work agreement from home - an option conditional on the employee's consent, if the nature of the work allows it.
• Send employees "for obstacles" - the possibility even without the employee's consent, the employer must pay compensation of wages in the amount of average earnings.
• Compensatory leave - if the employee has worked overtime, the employer may order him to take it.
• Unpaid leave - based on the employee's request, the employer can allow him to take unpaid leave.
• Leave - the possibility to order an employee a leave, even without his consent; however, leave must be ordered 14 days in advance, unless a shorter period has been agreed.
• Cancellation of planned shifts - the possibility for employees to modify the shift schedule, even without their consent; however, the shift schedule must be set 14 days in advance, unless a shorter period has been agreed.
Testing of the employees
From 1 March 2021, a comprehensive voluntary testing of employees at the workplace was launched.
If the employer is interested, there is a possibility buy test kits at his own expense, through which he will test his employees. The employer will then be entitled to a contribution from VZP in the amount of CZK 60 per employee for 4 tests per month.
However, testing is only voluntary at this stage, both by employers and employees. The possibility of introducing mandatory testing for employers of more than 250 employees is currently being discussed.
More information about employee testing can be found HERE.
Employee has been quarantined
If an employee has been quarantined by a public health authority (the relevant regional public health office or even an attending physician), this constitutes an obstacle to work for which the employee is entitled to wage compensation as in the case of normal incapacity for work. This means that the employee is entitled to wage compensation of 60% of the average earnings (calculated from the reduced basis under the Labour Code) for the first 14 days of quarantine and from the 15th day will receive sickness benefit from the sickness insurance system.
The employee is obliged to inform the employer of the quarantine order without undue delay and to document the obstacle to work.
If the employee was diagnosed with COVID-19, the employer must inform all other employees by suitable means. Details about specific person are provided only in scope necessary for protection of health and in such way, that causes no harm to dignity and integrity of such person. Specific details should only be provided to affected colleagues.
The employee is afraid to come to work
The Labour Code gives the employee the right to refuse to perform dangerous work. However, the refused work must directly and seriously endanger the employee's life or health, or the life or health of others. The refusal test is thus very strict and will not be fulfilled by the average employee at this point in case of concern about coronavirus infection.
Generally, in such cases, we recommend hearing the employee's concerns and working together to find a solution that will meet their needs. This may include the possibility of working from home, taking leave or providing unpaid leave. Should an employee still refuse to come to work, this is an unexcused absence for which the employee may be penalised.
Of course, there may be more complicated cases that need to be assessed individually (persons with compromised immune system, difficulty breathing, heart disease, diabetes, pregnancy, etc.).
Closure of schools - nursing and return to work
At present, pupils and students of certain grades can visit school facilities again. However, there constantly situations, where whole groups of children are isolated due to contact with the infected person it is therefore necessary to deal with the problem of nursing and the need for parents to look after their children. At the same time, it is necessary to think about the situation when the child himself will be infected and the parent will have to stay at home with him.
At present, a new las has come to force that regulates nursing requirements during the spread of the coronavirus pandemic and closure of school facilities.
Legislation that addressed this issue in last year's school year can no longer be applied, as it was applicable only until 30 June 2020.
By its wording, employees should have claim to compensation, if they are taking care of:
• child younger than 10;
• dependent children attending school, relying on the care of another person (from grade I onwards) without age restrictions;
• persons older than 10 relying on the care of another person using the services of daily, weekly hospitals and similar facilities;
• children that can’t attend school due to mandatory quarantine imposed on the family.
Support period will last for the whole duration of emergency measures and the amount of nursing allowance is 60% from daily assessment basis.
This bill extends the right to nursing allowance to persons working on the basis of an agreement to perform work or an agreement to complete a job.
Parents will not be entitled to nursing allowance for the period of any school holidays and days off announced by the school principal during the school year or in case when the parents themselves decide not to send their child into school, even though that current epidemical situation permits its opening.
The confirmation of school closing is no longer required. An affidavit from insured (parent) that he or she must take care of the child due to school closing.
Antivirus Employment Protection Programme
At present, employers still have the opportunity to apply for a full or partial employment allowance from the Antivirus program:
Mode A (Plus) – Forced operation restriction
• In case of closing of operation due to government order, employees are eligible to 100% wage compensation
• For employee that cannot be assigned work due to government order, employers are eligible to request 100% of wages paid from 1 October including taxes.
• Maximum amount of compensation for one month per worker is CZK 50.000.
• Maximum amount of total compensation for employer for all his employees is EUR 800.000 (if employer exceeds this limit, he is still eligible for compensation through Mode A)
Mode A – Forced operation restriction and quarantine
• In case of closing of operation due to government order, employees are eligible to 100% wage compensation
• In case of quarantine, employee is eligible for compensation of 60% from daily calculating basis.
• Compensation for employer will be in this case 80% from paid wage compensation, including taxes.
• Maximum amount of compensation for one month per one employee is CZK 39.000.
Mode B - Related economic difficulties (obstacles on the part of the employer due to the spread of coronavirus)
• If the employer is unable to allocate work to a larger number of employees due to quarantine or childcare, the wage compensation paid to the employees will be 100%.
• If the employer is unable to allocate work due to unavailability of raw materials, products or services that are necessary for its activity, it is obliged to pay compensation of min. 80% of wages.
• If the employer is unable to allocate work due to a reduction in demand for services, manufactured goods or other products, employees will still be entitled to a wage compensation of at least 60%.
• In these cases, the employer will be able to apply for a contribution of 60% of the paid wage compensation, including taxes, while the amount of the contribution per employee is limited to the amount of CZK 29,000.
It is possible to apply for compensation until 30 April 2021.
The employer will only be eligible for Antivirus Programme contributions if the following conditions are met:
• as of March, employers will be eligible for compensation only for employees, that have been employed at least for 3 months;
• it is an employer who strictly adheres to the Labour Code;
• the employee for whom the employer wishes to draw the contribution must not be in a notice period and must not be given a dismissal notice at the time of the wage billing (exceptions to the notice given under Section 52 (g) and (h) of the Labour Code);
• the employer is a company in the business sphere and the employees are in a main employment relationship and participate in sickness and pension insurance (the contribution cannot be drawn for DPP and DPČ employees);
• the employer is not in liquidation or bankruptcy;
• the decision to impose a fine on employers for enabling illegal work has not become final in the previous 3 years;
• the employer will not for the same purpose, i.e. the part of wage compensation that will be paid from the contribution of the Labor Office of the Czech Republic, claim coverage from funds provided from the state budget, EU programs and projects, or other public sources;
• the employer duly pays the salary and taxes.
At present, a new law on support in the form of a compensatory bonus is in force for:
The amount of the bonus should be CZK 500 for each day in the period from 5 October to 23 January 2021.
The decisive factor will no longer be concurrence with employment, but only the main source of livelihood for the period from 1 June to 30 September 2020.
You can apply for the compensatory bonus HERE.
An increase in the compensation bonus to CZK 1,000 / day is currently being discussed. This should apply retroactively from 1 Februrary 2021.
According to the Crisis Act, the State is responsible for damages caused by crisis measures. More information concerning this topic can be found HERE.
Nevertheless, the epidemiological situation may develop rapidly. Employers are advised to keep a cool head and follow the websites of Czech state authorities such as the Government of the Czech Republic, the Ministry of Health, the Ministry of the Interior, the State Health Institute and the ECDC.
In the event of an emergency situation related to coronavirus, we recommend that further steps and measures be resolved promptly in accordance with our recommendations, and in particular in cooperation with the employee concerned, his/her attending physician and the competent hygiene authority. Only with the participation of these actors will it be possible to effectively prevent the further spread of the epidemic while ensuring the operation of the company.
The same applies if the employee cannot come to work because there is a quarantine at the municipality in which the place of work is located.
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