Covid restrictions remain in place after government declares new state of emergency

The government-imposed restrictions to fight the coronavirus epidemic remain in place, after the Cabinet declared a new state of emergency, starting at midnight February 14.

Although the lower house refused to extend the state of emergency beyond that date, the government acted in response to a request from the governors of the country’s 14 regions who conceded that a “state of danger” would not give them adequate powers to enforce the restrictions needed to keep the coronavirus epidemic in check.

The state of emergency has been declared for a fortnight during which time the government is expected to produce a new pandemic legislation, which would enable the cabinet to respond to the crisis without a state of emergency, and to negotiate the gradual easing of restrictions with the government an opposition.

Nevertheless, Prime Minister  Andrej Babiš said on Sunday he did not believe this could be achieved in the space of a fortnight, and said he expected to ask the lower house for another extension in two weeks’ time.