PRAGUE — The Czech Republic is launching a program of nationwide testing for the coronavirus.
The free voluntary testing started Wednesday at hundreds of sites across the country and will continue until Jan. 15. The results of the rapid antigen tests will be known in up to 20 minutes.
Those who test positive will be retested with the more precise PCR tests.
The country has recently offered the rapid tests to teachers and used them to test residents and staff at all nursing homes.
The Czech Republic has been facing a rise in coronavirus infections in December. The government has decided to toughen restrictive measures that include the closure of bars, restaurants and hotels and the re-imposition of overnight curfew as of Friday.
The country of 10.7 million has 594,148 confirmed cases with 9,882 fatalities.
The day-to-day increase in new cases reached 7,889 on Tuesday, about 2,000 more than the same day a week ago.