Daily news summary

Blanket screening for coronavirus of selected groups due after Easter

A blanket screening of selected parts of the population for the COVID 19 virus is due to start after Easter to ascertain how many individuals have undergone the disease without showing any symptoms.

The screening will be undertaken with the help of so-called rapid tests based on detecting anti-bodies to the virus in people’s blood samples.

The tests are to be conducted on several hundred people of all ages.

The result should give the health authorities valuable information regarding the degree of herd immunity achieved and is likely to influence the speed with which the government restrictions will be eased.

Czechs may now travel abroad for “substantiated” reasons

As of today, April 14, Czechs may travel abroad but only in exceptional cases and for “substantiated” reasons.

According to a government regulation people will be allowed to leave the country for business reasons, to see a doctor or close family on urgent matters. They will be registered and will have to undergo a standard 14-day quarantine upon their return.

However, in view of the international situation borders remain closed and foreigners are still banned from entering the country. Details of the new regulation can be found on the Interior Ministry’s website.

Schools unlikely to reopen for all before next school year

Schools are unlikely to reopen for all students by the end of June, the country’s leading epidemiologist Roman Prymula said in an interview for the news site Seznam.cz.

Prymula said it was likely that pupils from higher classes especially those facing secondary school or university entrance exams would return sooner, but younger children would most likely be kept out of the classroom until the new school year.

The country’s chief hygiene officer Jarmila Rážová expressed a similar view in an interview for Czech Radio on Sunday.

The issue is to be discussed at Tuesday’s cabinet meeting within a broader debate on easing the coronavirus restrictions.

Number of confirmed COVID 19 cases at over 6,000

The number of people with confirmed coronavirus infection reached 6059 on Tuesday morning, according to data released by the Czech Ministry of Health.

The number of people registered COVID 19 positive rose by 68 on Monday, the smallest daily increase since March 17, when 67 new cases were registered. 143 deaths are reported.

Meanwhile, 519 people have recovered from COVID 19. Czech labs have tested over 128,000 people to date.

More than 5,000 Czechs repatriated in last three weeks

In the last three weeks the Czech Republic repatriated more than 5,000 Czech nationals stranded abroad due to the coronavirus crisis, Czech Radio reported citing Foreign Ministry sources.

2,800 people were repatriated on special flights, 2,400 by road. In cooperation with EU partners the Czech authorities also helped 700 citizens of EU member states to return home.

The Czech government released more than 100 million crowns for the repatriation effort with the ministry contributing 700 euro to the cost of the return trip for each passenger.

The last repatriation flight organized by the Czech Foreign Ministry in cooperation with the Embassy of South Korea brought home 329 Czechs and 35 other Europeans from Australia and New Zealand today.

Car manufacturer Hyundai resumes production

Car manufacturer Hyundai in Nošovice, Frýdek-Místek, resumed production on Tuesday after a three week break due to the coronavirus pandemic. It is the first large company in the country to do so.

According to Hyundai spokesman Pavel Barvík the plant will initially operate on two shifts instead of the usual three, and adhere to strict hygiene norms.

In order to ensure a smooth start, the company is reported to have stocked-up on car parts contrary to the standard practice of producing vehicles "just in time", according to customer demand.

Barvík said this was done in view of the security regime, particularly with regard to border measures, which could delay deliveries.

Weather forecast

Wednesday should be clear to partly cloudy, with more clouds in the eastern parts of the country, and day temperatures between 13 and 17 degrees Celsius.