Trade and distribution businesses demand automatic discharges for covid patients

Industry calls for shorter quarantines due to lack of personnel

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A man takes a self-test for covid .

BarcelonaFood and consumer goods chains have demanded that the process for obtaining a medical discharge after suffering covid is streamlined and can be obtained automatically if there are no symptoms. In a statement, Aecoc and half a dozen other employer associations have denounced the difficulties that employees have to obtain medical discharges, due to congestion of primary care. They estimate that one in seven of the workers who are on sick leave at the moment could go back to work immediately, but do not do so because they cannot get a medical discharge. "The food trade alone currently has over 20,000 workers on sick leave, a figure that increases daily and greatly complicates the management of companies," say employers' associations.

For this reason, business associations are calling for automatic discharge once the seven-day quarantine period has elapsed, unless there are symptoms. They also demand that quarantine periods be reduced to the "minimum necessary" to guarantee the correct management of the pandemic. Aecoc and the other business associations request measures from Ministries of Health, Labour, Commerce, Industry and Tourism, Agriculture and Social Security. Among these measures, they request that the possibility of shortening quarantines or limiting the groups to which these quarantines can be applied, since the current reduction from ten to seven days is proving insufficient to ensure adequate coverage of vacancies

Criticism of self-testing leave

According to business associations, the increase in the number of workers on sick leave "represents a great administrative problem". In addition, they point out that the decision taken by some regional governments to issue sick leaves over the telephone on the basis of an antigen test taken at home is causing, in their opinion, "an added problem in the management of discharges, which do have to be obtained in person at the health centres".