Press Advisories

3. 11. 2020 18:19

Government to send social services staff three million respirators

Press conference after the extraordinary government meeting, 3 November 2020.
Press conference after the extraordinary government meeting, 3 November 2020.
At an extraordinary session on Tuesday, 3 November 2020, Andrej Babiš’s government approved the provision of three million FFP2 respirators from the state’s material reserves to staff of residential social services and care services. The respirators will be provided free of charge. A million pairs of protective gloves are to be sent to French health workers to help with the coronavirus pandemic.

The FFP2-class respirators the government released from the state’s material reserves are intended for social services staff whom the Ministry of Health ordered to use respirators when working with clients. These are employees who come into contact with seniors and people with disabilities, i.e. those most at risk from the current Covid-19 pandemic. According to the government’s decision, the regions and the City of Prague are to help distribute personal protective equipment to facilities that care for these clients.

According to figures from the Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs, there are currently 703 residential care services, 539 old people’s homes, 210 homes for people with disabilities, and 229 residential respite care facilities in operation in the Czech Republic. That makes a total of 1,751 facilities with 81,427 employees. The three million respirators should last the primary direct care workers around a month. Every employee should have one or two respirators available per shift.

The Ministry of Health, working with the Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs, widened the original set of entities covered by the obligation to organise or undergo regular antigen testing. Now, staff at week-long residential care and sheltered housing facilities and social services providers providing personal assistance will have to undergo regular testing. Testing will also apply to staff at healthcare services providers that have a healthcare services provision contract with the operators of long-term palliative care homes, old people’s homes and all other services that have to test their employees.

The government also approved the implementation of the European Union recommendation regarding the ban on travel from non-EU countries bar permitted exceptions. The epidemiological rules for Czech citizens travelling abroad and for foreign nationals coming to the Czech Republic will now be governed by the “international traffic light system”, which will be the same for the entire European Union. Nationals of high-risk third countries will be obliged to quarantine or take a test, but exceptions for essential travel will remain – for cross-border workers, international transport or healthcare personnel, for example.

The cabinet also decided on a donation to the French Republic. In response to the French health ministry’s request, the Czech Republic is providing France with a million pairs of protective gloves from government stocks.

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