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CovidCheck could remain in workplaces, companies say

CovidCheck could remain in workplaces, companies say

by John MONAGHAN 2 min. 08.02.2022 From our online archive
Several businesses say they intend to retain control measures, even if government plans to scrap the compulsory checks are approved
The CovidCheck system has been compulsory in workplaces across Luxembourg since January 15
The CovidCheck system has been compulsory in workplaces across Luxembourg since January 15
Photo credit: Gerry Huberty

The CovidCheck system could be set to stay in workplaces across Luxembourg, with several businesses indicating they intend to keep the checks even if the government moves to scrap them.

Under the existing rules, which have been compulsory in workplaces since January 15, employees have to show proof of a negative test, vaccination or recent recovery from the virus in order to enter. Failure to do so can result in staff having to take leave or losing pay, although they cannot be fired.

But despite proposals to scrap the requirement, several businesses have said they intend to retain the checks even if the government plans are approved by parliament, according to L’Essentiel.

“We will keep this plan until February 28, even if it becomes optional,” Luis Cadima, manager of Morganite Luxembourg, an industrial supplies and equipment company, told the news website. “It is also a way to maintain better controls, because we had cases of Covid in December, which were detrimental to production.” 

Audit firm BDO Luxembourg also said they intend to keep the scheme in place. “It worked well and was accepted by the employees. We are going to propose to the unions to maintain it,” said Daniel Hilbert, a partner at BDO. 

The industry lobby group FEDIL believes the scheme has split employers. While some firms are considering an extension as it “provides additional security”, FEDIL general secretary Marc Kieffer said, other companies want to see it scrapped, as the rules have “delayed production too much, especially on construction sites”.

Government plans to introduce compulsory vaccination will continue, Health Minister Paulette Lenert said on Monday, despite the relaxing of restrictions, as she warned of a potential new wave of infections in autumn. 

The government said last month that it would back a limited mandate for the over-50s and healthcare staff proposed by a panel of independent experts, but added it was leaving decisions over the specific details and which groups would be covered to parliament.

A bill is currently being drafted by government, Lenert said, and should be voted on “in spring”.

“If we are able to take a large step towards normality, it’s only because vaccines are having the desired effect,” she told RTL. “All the experts have told us that a surprise is awaiting in the autumn. From this point of view, it’s very important that everyone gets vaccinated as soon as possible.”

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