The only way out of the crisis is compulsory vaccination, said Czech President Miloš Zeman during talks with Presidents of the Visegrád Group states. He added that the Czech Republic, as well as the rest of the Visegrád countries, should consider compulsory vaccination.
Zeman himself tested positive for coronavirus last Thursday but is an asymptomatic patient. However, the Czech president joined the summit in Budapest via a video call.
“Like Austria, let’s think about compulsory vaccination because it really seems to be the only way out of this covid crisis,” Zeman told other Visegrád Group presidents.
“All politicians are afraid to say that the only solution is compulsory vaccinations because they would lose the votes. I can afford it because after ten years, I am leaving the post of president,” he added.
The resigning government of Andrej Babiš supports the idea of compulsory vaccination for some professions and seniors. The Central Crisis Staff also backed this idea, saying that medics, social workers, members of the rescue system, the prison service, soldiers, volunteer firefighters in some units, and people over the age of 60 should be vaccinated.
Interior Minister Jan Hamáček told reporters that the Ministry of Health should now propose a decree on compulsory vaccination. Zeman himself is vaccinated with the third booster dose.
In a joint statement, the presidents of the V4 countries also called on their citizens to get vaccinated.
“The epidemic situation in our region is serious, and the new variant of coronavirus may worsen it, so we call on everyone to get vaccinated against Covid-19 as soon as possible,” the MTI news agency quoted from the statement.
Polish President Andrzej Duda, Slovak President Zuzana Čaputová, and president of the host country, János Áder, attended the meeting in Budapest, with Czech President Miloš Zeman joining via video call.