A former academic, Fiala assumed the premiership in December 2021 – taking over his predecessor Andrej Babis. The new leader scrapped Babis' plan to make COVID-19 injections mandatory for Czechs aged 60 and up and workers under several key sectors. Health care workers, medical students, firefighters and police officers would be required to get the COVID-19 vaccine by March under Babis' order issued in early December 2021.
However, Fiala said on Jan. 19 that his center-right Spolu coalition did not see the vaccine mandate as a necessity. "We've agreed that vaccination against COVID-19 won't be mandatory. This does not change our stance on vaccination: It is still undoubtedly the best way to fight COVID-19. However, we do not want to deepen fissures in society," he told reporters.
The new prime minister also added that about 90 percent of people who would have been covered by Babis' decree had already received COVID-19 vaccines. As of writing, 62.9 percent of Czechs have been fully vaccinated. Of the country's total population of 10.5 million people, about 3.4 million – short of a third – have received a booster dose.
Back in December, Czech Health Minister Adam Vojtech confirmed the COVID-19 vaccine mandate from Babis. He added that the his ministry would issue a decree adding the COVID-19 vaccine to other required shots for certain occupations. Those refusing would be prohibited from working in those professions, Vojtech added.
"Other countries are taking this path. It is a trend that will prevail across Europe," the health minister told reporters via a video link. Vojtech added that he would still go ahead with implementing the decree as he was convinced of vaccination being "the right path in principle."
This did not happen, however, as Fiala's government picked incumbent Deputy Prime Minister Vlastimil Valek to concurrently helm the health ministry.
The Czech Republic's prime minister has opted to scrap vaccine mandates in country. However, it appears that Fiala is the only leader in the European Union that went against the grain. Other EU countries opted to impose vaccine mandates and levy fines to those turning down the shot.
Austria announced in December 2021 that unvaccinated individuals in the country would face fines as high as €3,600 ($4,078) every three months. Those yet to receive the COVID-19 vaccine will receive a letter from health authorities reminding them to get injected before a certain deadline. Non-compliance will merit the fines, while presenting proof of vaccination or exemption from the vaccine would signal for all proceedings to be dropped.
Austrian Health Minister Wolfgang Mueckstein said: "In regular proceedings, the amount of the fine is €3,600 ($4,078). As an alternative, the authorities have the option to impose a [smaller] fine in shorter proceedings immediately after the vaccination deadline. Here, the amount is €600 ($680)." (Related: Austrians who refuse COVID vaccines to face MONTHLY fines under new law.)
Greece also announced a similar measure in early January 2022, albeit aimed at older individuals. From Jan. 17 onward, unvaccinated Greeks are set to face fines if they continue to turn down the COVID-19 vaccine. They will be fined €50 ($57) on the first instance, and will be penalized €100 every month moving forward – unless they decide to get vaccinated.
According to Greek Health Minister Thanos Plevris, the country's tax service will be in charge of collecting the fines. These penalties will then be directed to helping state-run hospitals tide over the pandemic. "The age factor is important because of its impact on the public health service," Plevris said on Jan. 16. (Related: Unvaccinated elderly Greeks to face FINES for turning down Covid clot shots.)
Watch the video below of Czechs protesting against Babis' vaccine mandate – which his successor Fiala scrapped.
This video is from the Russia Truth channel on Brighteon.com.
HealthFreedom.news has more about Fiala and other leaders rescinding vaccine mandates.