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All pupils in Czechia to undergo COVID tests when school starts

All pupils in Czechia to undergo COVID tests when school starts

Preventative testing will take place to ensure the smooth running of the school year

On 16 August, the Czech government announced that children between the ages of 6 and 18 will now have to be tested for COVID at the beginning of the school year. This testing will take place during the first two weeks of school in order to assess whether or not students have contracted the virus during the summer holidays.

Preventing the spread of COVID

The government reported that students will have to get tested 2-3 times in the first two weeks, depending on their chosen method of testing. More specifically, pupils who opt for antigen tests will have to be tested on 1, 6, and 9 September while those who choose PCR tests must get tested on 1 and 9 September.

Minister of Health Adam Vojtěch explained the need for preventative testing: “The smooth running of the school year is our priority. Its beginning may be crucial for the development of the current epidemiological situation. I, therefore, suggested to the government that pupils undergo comprehensive preventative testing immediately after the school year. Thanks to this, we are able to catch a possible infection from the holidays in time and prevent its spread.”

Taking this further, Vojtěch shared that schools will have to create a list of all pupils and employees who have tested positive for COVID. In addition to this, they must include the names of those who have recently been in contact with them. In this way, the Ministry of Health believes that the country can contain any potential spread of the virus.

It is important to note that children who have been vaccinated or have recovered from COVID will be exempt from testing. Moreover, unvaccinated students who refuse to get tested will face strict restrictions.

In particular, they will have to wear masks indoors and outdoors if they cannot maintain a distance of 1.5 meters. Beyond this, they will not be allowed to participate in physical education and singing. Finally, they will have to maintain a distance when eating or drinking.

Lifting other restrictions

Besides the new rules regarding the upcoming school year, other changes will also come into force on Wednesday, 1 September. That is, the government will ease the current restrictions on the number of visitors to various sports and cultural events.

Events with a capacity of up to 3,000 people will be allowed to take place with visitors who have either been tested, vaccinated, or recovered from COVID. Those with higher capacities will have to ensure that at least half of the visitors have COVID immunity while the remaining attendees will have to provide proof of a negative test.

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