Czech President Milos Zeman spoke out in favour of mandatory vaccinations against Covid-19 during his traditional Christmas address.
He said he had initially been skeptical about the idea, but given repeated new waves of infection, he said he had changed his mind, in comments broadcast live.
Zeman said he had ultimately been swayed by Austria, which has decreed vaccination compulsory as of February 2022.
“I am convinced that this is the easiest way to suppress the pandemic. We already have compulsory vaccinations against a whole range of other diseases. Therefore, there is no reason why we should not add coronavirus to these,” Zeman said.
Such a radical step is better than just watching as phases of easing alternate with new waves of infection throughout Europe, he said.
He also commented on other issues, criticizing climate activists as he has in the past, for what he described as turning “reasonable ecological goals into a kind of religion.”
Meanwhile, he praised the work of the previous government, led by populist former prime minister Andrej Babis, which lost in parliamentary elections.
He instructed the new coalition, sworn in last week, not to ease up on fiscal discipline to cater to business lobbies wanting tax breaks at public expense.
As of December 27 people over 30 are eligible to get a booster shot five months after their primary vaccination. At present, the booster shot was only available to people over the age of 45.
As of December 29 a maximum of 50 people will be allowed at indoor events, parties and New Year’s celebrations with only four people allowed at one table.