Prague, Czech Republic – Employees working in the state administration who have been vaccinated against Covid-19 could receive a two-day paid leave, Czech Prime Minister Andrej Babis announced on Wednesday.
Vaccinated state employees to get 2-day paid leave
M. Babis said he would put the proposal forward at the next cabinet meeting on Friday morning and urge all government ministers to offer two days of paid holiday leave to all their employees who have been inoculated against the virus.
The Czech Premier also expressed hope for municipalities, regions and private employers to do the same.
More than 480,000 people are employed by the state administration in the Czech Republic, including nearly 200,000 teachers.
The Czech government’s move is only the latest example of the efforts of governments across the region to motivate people to get the jab, using a mix of incentives for the vaccinated and more stringent restrictions for the unvaccinated.
Vaccine hesitancy remains relatively high among younger generations, with experts fearing the spread of the Delta variant primarily among those who haven’t received a jab could foreshadow another wave by the end of summer or beginning of autumn.
More than half of the Czech population fully vaccinated
With national elections only a few months away, the government of Prime Minister Babis is also under intense pressure to avoid another lockdown.
Earlier this month, Slovakia launched a lottery with weekly prizes for those who have received the vaccine, as well as bonuses from 30 to 90€ for those who convince others to get Covid-19 shots.
Neighbouring Poland introduced a similar lottery offering cash prizes on top of hybrid cars or electric scooters to boost its vaccination drive.
These initiatives, as well as the growing use of Covid certificates, have proved controversial across Europe: while proponents argue it’s the only way to convince those who still refuse to take part in the vaccination campaign and reach collective immunity, critics claim such discriminatory schemes turn unvaccinated people into “second-class citizens”.
Over 10 million doses of the vaccine have been administered since the start of the vaccination campaign in the Czech Republic, with approximately 62% of the population having received at least one dose. Slightly more than one out of every two Czechs (52%) has been fully vaccinated against Covid-19.