Czech Republic scraps vaccine mandate

The Czech Republic’s new government has scrapped a decree making Covid vaccines mandatory for over-60s and key workers in some professions, with the country’s health minister describing the previous administration’s plan as “nonsense from the start”.

The mandate - which was supposed to come into effect in March for the elderly as well as health and care workers, police officers and firefighters - was dismissed by Prime Minister Petr Fiala’s new centre-right government as daily Covid cases hit a record high in the country.

“We see no reason for compulsory vaccination. We do not want to deepen the divides,” Mr Fiala said at a press conference on Wednesday. However, he emphasised that the government still considered vaccines as “the best way to fight Covid”.