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Employers: Companies have not yet reported a lack of covid-19 tests

Updates: 02.03.2021 12:35

Prague – Representatives of employers have not yet noticed a lack of tests for companies that will have to test employees for covid-19 from Wednesday. This follows from a ČTK survey among business associations. According to them, many large companies have already pre-stocked the tests. There is also surprisingly great interest from small companies with less than 50 employees, which are not yet required to test.

“According to the information we have from the Ministry of Industry and Trade, there should be enough tests on the market. Among our members we observe that they order tests in bulk. So far we have no feedback from them that there are no tests. We noticed that the tests sold out for example, for a specific supplier, “Jan Rafaj, vice president of the Confederation of Industry and Transport of the Czech Republic, told ČTK.

The Association of Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises does not yet have reports that the tests would not be available. “We will see in the next days,” said Eva Svobodová, the association’s general director. “I myself have not had a problem getting the tests for my company, but we will know on Wednesday or Thursday whether there will be enough for all companies or not,” added the president of the association Jaroslav Hanák.

Large employers were counting on the introduction of the obligation to test employees, so many of them have already pre-stocked themselves with a sufficient number of antigen tests, said Miroslav Diro, a spokesman for the Chamber of Commerce. Small employers employing more than 50 workers counted on the obligation to test employees only in the next phase, so the demand for antigen tests rose rapidly on their part, immediately after the government decided on this obligation in the evening.

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Surprisingly, according to Dir, the demand for tests has also risen significantly from employers who are not yet subject to the obligation, ie from employers with up to 50 employees. They decided to participate in the testing voluntarily, even though the state does not impose this obligation on them. “We estimate that their orders currently account for up to a third of demand. The smallest employers with up to ten employees demand dozens of tests,” he added.

In general, according to the chamber, employers are most in demand for quality and less invasive tests that do not require nasopharyngeal swabs. They mainly prefer the so-called saliva tests, which are more pleasant for sampling for employees. Suppliers process orders from their stock on an ongoing basis, and this week they are going to secure other large deliveries from manufacturers.

According to a flash survey conducted by the Confederation of Industry among 185 companies at the end of last week, when there was no talk of mandatory testing, 84 percent of companies of all sizes planned to start testing as early as March. “However, we repeatedly point out that there is no pending legislation that would allow companies to test their employees on a mandatory basis. And this is not a trivial matter,” Rafaj said.

The government approved mandatory testing in companies on Monday night. Businesses with more than 250 employees will have to start on Wednesday, they must test all employees by March 12. Businesses with 50 to 249 people will start testing on Friday, and all employees will need to have the tests ready by March 15. Employees working from home will not have to undergo testing.

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