Government has agreed to temporarily waive VAT on respirators and to extend support for food producers
Sellers will be able to reduce prices on respirators in class FFP2 and higher. On Monday, 1 February 2021, Andrej Babiš’s cabinet charged the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance to issue a decision exempting those products temporarily from the value added tax. The government also endorsed an extension of the Agricovid Food Production subsidy scheme of the Ministry of Agriculture.
The full pardon of the Ministry of Finance will waive the value added tax for the delivery of filtering half masks and respirators that meet the parameters of protection class at least FFP2, KN95 or N95 or have the same or higher filtering effect, and other types of respirators without exhalation valves if they are intended by the manufacturer for the protection both of the user and of the user’s surroundings, and if these, moreover, fall within personal protective equipment of Category III and medical equipment of risk class I as defined in the relevant European Union legislation.
By taking this step, the government seeks to increase affordability of these more efficient breathing protection devices, which should encourage their more frequent use and so reduce the risk of contracting COVID-19 in the population. The measure, published already in the Financial Newsletter by the Ministry of Finance, is to be effective for two months so far.
Upon the motion of the Minister of Agriculture, the cabinet approved a second call under the Agricovid Food Production subsidy scheme. It is a continuation of the scheme approved by the government in November last year, in the follow-up period from 1 December 2020 till 28 February 2021. The framework conditions of the scheme remain unchanged, the aid is still targeted at food-producing and agricultural enterprises whose production is intended for public catering and newly also for markets and market halls that are significantly restricted by the current measures. For more details see the press release of the Ministry of Agriculture at http://eagri.cz/public/web/mze/tiskovy-servis/tiskove-zpravy/x2021_ministerstvo-zemedelstvi-vyhlasi-druhou.html (in Czech language).
As part of discussing the COVID-19 agenda, the government also gave consent to modifying the protective measure of the Ministry of Health, concerning the entry into the Czech Republic. Starting on 5 February, changes will be made mainly to the compulsory testing of persons who arrive in the Czech Republic as part of permitted exemptions from the ban on entry from countries with a COVID-19 risk. Persons from countries with a medium risk will have to document, before entering the Czech Republic, a negative result of an antigen or PCR test, persons from countries with a high or very high risk, which is to be a new category of countries, will have to undergo another PCR test at their expense within a set time period after entering the Czech territory. Persons from high risk countries will have to spend at least five days in quarantine before being tested. Exemptions from this rule are newly extended to escort police officers or in-flight security officers and citizens who demonstrate that they have recovered from COVID-19 within the last 90 days.