All employees working in the food chain and those working with the elderly will have to undergo coronavirus tests within the next 14 days, the Council of Ministers decided today.
Moreover, in the interest of public health, in cases where employees of businesses which service the public test positive for coronavirus, the businesses will be named.
Cabinet also set a price cap of €110 (not including VAT) on coronavirus tests carried out by approved labs.
In an announcement, cabinet said the decision follows the detection of confirmed Covid-19 cases in retail food businesses and the unwillingness of some of these businesses, on the grounds they fear an impact on their business, to participate in a programme now underway involving 20,000 tests in the private and public sector.
- All those working in the retail food and drinks businesses such as bakeries, supermarkets, kiosks, butchers, fishmongers, etc who participate in the supply chain of these companies (production of food/drinks, distribution, serving the public) must undergo a test for coronavirus within 14 days
- All those working in old people’s homes and other facilities for the accommodaiton and care of the elderly must undergo a test for coronavirus within 14 days
- All the above can carry out a free test with the labs working with the Health Ministry. The list has been published as part of the programme for the 20,000 public and private sector employees who are undergoing tests. Alternatively they can take the test privately and cover the cost at one of the labs offering PCR tests. In the latter case the cost will be covered by the company.
- Authorities, in cooperation with the epidemiological monitoring unit will at the end of the 14 day period carry out checks to ensure that all employees who should have tested actually did so.
- To protect the public, the PCR test for Covid-19 carried out by approved labs is set at a maximum of €110 (not including VAT).
- It was also decided that health inspectors will step up checks to ensure that the new Health Ministry instructions are adhered to. Under these, in cases where there is a positive coronavirus case in a retail food and drink business all staff must leave the place of work (and not just the close contacts of the positive cases as applied until recently). The workplace must be immediately disinfected and can operate again only after approval is given that the instructions have been adhered to.
- Moreover, in the interest of public health, the epidemiological monitoring unit will within 24 hours of a positive case being detected in businesses/premises which service the public will issue an announcement with the name and address of the business in question.
A relevant decree is to be issued by the Health Minister with additional information, it added.