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coronavirus pandemic Czech Republic Foreign Workers tests News

Foreigners come to work in Czechia with fraudulent COVID-19 tests

Forged test certificates usually come from the Ukrainian black market

editor: REMIX NEWS
author: Matěj Říha, Právo

It seems that the coronavirus is also spreading in the Czech Republic because of foreign workers from Ukraine, Moldova and Romania. According to Právo daily, some workers from these countries show a negative PCR test certificate upon entering Czech territory. However, in many cases, they bought their certificate, with all the official stamps, on the black market in Ukraine.

While the real PCR test in Ukraine costs around 1,200 korunas (€46), the blank original certificate, fully stamped, is available on the black market at the price of 600 to 700 korunas (€23 to €27).

If foreign workers have the coronavirus, they can spread the infection, for example, during bus transports organized by companies.

Currently, foreigners from countries outside the European Union have to fill in an entry form before entering the Czech Republic. Thanks to this document, public health officials know who comes into the country and when. Foreigners must also have proof of a negative PCR test no older than three days and then get re-tested five days after arrival. Until then, they should be in quarantine.

Public health officials regularly check whether foreigners have been tested and whether they are adhering to quarantine. For example, in the Central Bohemian Region, such inspections are in progress and have already discovered foreigners with forged documents.

Workers who commit this type of fraud risk criminal charges for using forged documents. And if they have the coronavirus, they may also be accused of spreading the contagious virus.

Czech police do not currently guard the border by checking every passing car, as was the case in the spring. According to Renata Grecmanová, a spokeswoman for the Foreigner Police, there are inland inspections related to restrictions on the movement between districts. She added that inspections targeting foreigners are also underway but pointed out the problem with documents purchased on the black market: They are actually “real,” and the police cannot spot them.

The spokeswoman also noted that foreigners, for example, from Ukraine, usually travel to the Czech Republic through Poland or Slovakia, where the external border of the Schengen area lies. And this is where the authorities should determine if they are entering the EU with all the proper documents.


Title image: Policemen stop a car to check documents of a driver near the city of Sokolov, Czech Republic, Friday, Feb. 12, 2021. Almost 600 police officers were deployed to enforce a complete lockdown of the three hardest-hit counties on the border with Germany and Poland to help contain a fast-spreading variant of the coronavirus found in Britain. (AP Photo/Petr David Josek)