The Czech government said Wednesday that people who test positive for Covid-19 should isolate for five days, down from the previous recommendation of 10 days.
The measure will become effective Jan. 11, Health Minister Vlastimil Valek said.
It was approved ahead of an anticipated surge of the coronavirus’ highly contagious omicron variant that experts expect will become dominant in the country later this month.
The Czech decision follows similar measures by several other EU members and the United States in response to omicron variant-driven record surges in infections.
Its aim is “to prevent the state from collapsing,” Valek said.
People whose symptoms are getting better may also leave their homes after five days so long as their symptoms are improving, the CDC said. People who have a fever should stay home until the fever clears up.
Mandatory testing of all employees will also begin on January 17, and according to the Minister of Health Vlastimil Válka (TOP 09), it should be in place for two or three weeks.
The tests will be paid for through health insurance. If the person does test positive, they will have to take a subsequent PCR test at an official testing facility.
10,169 new cases of Covid-19 were recorded in the Czech Republic on Tuesday. It was the first time in two weeks that the figure of 10,000 was reached on one day. There were 2,854 people in hospital, of whom 506 were in a critical condition.
The Institute for Health Information and Statistics says there could be up to 50,000 cases a day and as many as 7,000 in hospital.