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Czechia: compulsory vaccination challenged by senators from the STAN group

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Czechia – While Ladislav Dušek, director of the Czech Institute for Health Information and Statistics (ÚZIS), predicts that the Omicron variant could become dominant in the Czech Republic over the coming month, and as the new minister of Health, Vlastimil Válek (TOP09, center-right), is waiting to see the evolution of the pandemic in the country in view of this new data, a group of senators from the STAN group (mayors and independents) has decided to take action to the constitutional Court and challenge the decree taken by the outgoing government of Andrej Babiš establishing compulsory vaccination for seniors and certain professions from March 1, 2022.

A polarising and unenforceable decree

The Senate’s vice-president, Jiří Růžička (STAN; see photo), explains this approach by his government majority group’s senators :

“This decree further divides an already polarized society, it does not look for other ways to solve a major problem and is totally unenforceable.”

In the meantime, deputies of the Freedom and Direct Democracy group (Svoboda a přímá demokracie, SPD) also announced their intention to lodge a similar appeal against this decree before the Constitutional Court. An appeal for which it will have to find the support of five deputies from outside the group to reach the required quorum of 25 deputies.

Two mandatory weekly tests for all employees

At the same time, a new anti-Covid measure announced by Vlastimil Válek on December 29 causes debate. Czech companies will be required to test all of their employees – whether vaccinated or not – twice a week from January 2022. Until now, unvaccinated employees had to be tested once a week.