Czech Health Ministry: Self-tests and sworn affidavits no longer valid for restaurants and events

The rules for proving you aren't capable of spreading coronavirus have changed once again.

Raymond Johnston

Written by Raymond Johnston Published on 23.07.2021 15:35:00 (updated on 23.07.2021) Reading time: 2 minutes

When visiting a restaurant or a cultural event, it is no longer possible to prove oneself to be free of coronavirus with a solemn declaration of having passed a test at work or a self-test. The Czech Health Ministry has quietly changed the rules. People must now be able to show proof of being two weeks after completed vaccination, having recovered from the illness in the past, or provide results of an official PCR or antigen test administered by a recognized healthcare service.

The change was first reported by news server Echo24 and Czech Television. The Health Ministry justifies this by saying that the affidavit was linked to the extraordinary measure that required mandatory testing in schools and at work. These tests are no longer required, though some firms are still testing anyway.

“An affidavit can no longer be made because testing in schools and companies has stopped," chief hygienist Pavla Svrčinová told Czech Television.

Kryštof Berka from the press department of the Ministry of Health confirmed to Echo24 that an affidavit from work is no longer valid. “If testing takes place at work, it must be performed professionally by a health service provider, not tests for use by a lay person,” Berka said.

For people who eat out a lot or attend a lot of events, tests can become quite expensive. A PCR test must not be older than seven days, and antigen tests are valid for 72 hours. Until the start of September, people with public insurance can take two PCRs and four antigen tests a month, but this possibility will end from September as insurance will no longer cover testing.

“[Insurance] can't pay for people to have tests just so they can go to a concert,” Health Minister Adam Vojtěch said previously.

He favors vaccination of the maximum number of people as a way to return to normal life, rather than testing, which he says is financially unsustainable in the long term.

The change concerning self-tests and affidavits not being acceptable was apparently already in effect last week when Prague Police and hygienists checked over 500 people at nightclubs for proof of vaccination, test, or recovery, finding over 40 violations. It is not clear if any of the violations involved affidavits, or if people trying to use affidavits were fined.

Since the pandemic started, some 8,704,173 PCR and 23,329,569 antigen tests have been performed. Over 4 million people have completed vaccination, including people who got the single-dose Jannsen vaccine.

Test and vaccination results can be downloaded from Institute of Health Information and Statistics (ÚZIS) website and can be displayed as a QR code on a smartphone using the Tečka app.

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