Germany to make regular COVID-19 tests compulsory for firms - draft law

BERLIN (Reuters) - German companies will be obliged to offer staff regular COVID-19 self-testing kits at least once a week, according to a draft amendment to occupational health and safety regulations seen by Reuters on Monday.

The amendment will be submitted to the German cabinet on Tuesday where ministers are expected to agree on unified measures to impose restrictions in a bid to contain a third wave of the pandemic.

Under the amendment from Labour Minister Hubertus Heil, employees at high risk of infection, such as those who are housed in communal accommodation or work in closed rooms, will be offered two tests per week.

The tests will be paid for by employers. The government also plans to extend until June 30 other measures to prevent coronavirus infections, including requiring employers to offer workers the option of working from home.

The number of confirmed COVID-19 cases crossed the 3-million mark on Monday, data from the Robert Koch Institute showed.

Chancellor Angela Merkel wants to amend the Infection Protection Act to impose unified measures nationally after a patchwork of different measures across regions failed to contain the virus.