Daily news summary
Government hardens quarantine measures - maximum of two can be outside together
The government has passed a new measure in the fight against the coronavirus epidemic. Namely, that only two people can be out together at once.
While the order came into effect on Tuesday as part of the extension of the quarantine period until April. However, it only came to the awareness of the general public and media after the government informed of the new measure in a press release on Wednesday.
Those excluded from the measure are members of the same household, funeral attendees, or those working and conducting business activities.
Coronavirus: Czech state to offer Italy and Spain 10,000 protective suits
The Czech Republic will offer 10,000 protective suits to Italy and Spain, the European countries hardest hit by the coronavirus pandemic, Interior Minister Jan Hamáček said on Twitter.
Hamáček said this country has 250,000 protective suits and more are on the way, while Italy and Spain “desperately need” such gear.
Foreign Minister Tomáš Petříček on Wednesday indicated additional assistance to those countries could come in the form of sending Czech military medical teams. However, Defence Minister Lubomír Metnar said on Thursday such personnel could not be spared.
The Czech Republic has many protective suits in part because, since joining NATO in 1999, it has focused on further developing its expertise in countering chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear (CBRN) threats.
New rules apply for Czechs commuting for work in Austria, Germany
New restrictions go into effect on Thursday for Czechs commuting to work in Austria and Germany. They are now required to remain in those countries for at least 21 days. Upon return, they will be quarantined for 14 days.
Czechs working in health, social services and emergency services abroad are not subject to the new rules. But they will need to show proof of such cross-border employment. Violation of such rules is a criminal offence.
Salaries in Austria and Germany are typically far higher, and many Czechs living in border regions had commuted abroad for work on a daily basis before the coronavirus outbreak.
The same rules apply to Czechs working in Slovakia and Poland as before. They must commute at least three times a week in one direction and their place of work must lie within 100 kilometres of the border.
Survey: 1 in 3 Czechs can work from home, 1 in 4 more productively
One-third of Czechs can work from home and about 28 percent currently do so, according to a new Solitea survey.
Half the respondents said they are “equally productive” at home as at work. A quarter said they are “more productive” at home.
The Solitea survey, conducted last week on a sample of 2,000 respondents, found nearly 10 percent believed they could be “equally productive” working at home if allowed by their employers to do so.
Supreme Court rejects ex-MP Jaroslav Staník’s appeal on hate speech verdict
The Supreme Court has rejected an appeal by Jaroslav Staník, an ex-secretary and MP of the far-right opposition Freedom and Direct Democracy party, to overturn a guilty verdict for inciting hatred, among other charges.
In October 2017, when still an MP, Staník said in a parliament restaurant that Jews, Romani people and homosexuals to be shot at birth or gassed, witnesses said. They said he was drunk at the time.
Staník was charged in 2018 with fomenting hatred towards a group of people, infringing upon their rights and freedoms, and denying the Holocaust while calling for genocide. He faced up to 3 years in prison but received a 1-year suspended sentence.
Attempted murder suspect Lukáš Nečesaný awarded CZK 1.2mn, apology
Lukáš Nečesaný, a Czech man charged in 2013 with the attempted murder of a hairdresser in Hořice, East Bohemia, has been awarded 1.2 million crowns in damages and an apology. He is seeking a further 18.8 million crowns in for non-material harm, his lawyer said.
Nečesaný spent two years behind bars before he was released from prison in November 2017, after a regional court ruled there was insufficient evidence to prove his guilt. On three previous occasions, he had been found guilty, each time filing an appeal.
The hairdresser, who was knocked unconscious during a robbery, did not at first identify Nečesaný, then a secondary school student, as the perpetrator. According to court experts, she suffered from memory loss after the assault.
Sports: Prague Half Marathon, Ostrava Golden Spike postponed
Two more high-profile Czech-based sporting events have been postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic: the Prague Half Marathon and Golden Spike Ostrava, a major international track and field competition.
The Prague race was scheduled for March 28 and the Ostrava event for May 22. The Prague Half Marathon is now scheduled for September 6 and the Golden Spike has been postponed until September 8. The Prague Marathon due to take place on May 3 has been cancelled with no new date yet set.
Friday should be warm and sunny in the morning and overcast in afternoon and evening, wit daytime highs of 11 to 14 degrees Celsius. The outlook for Saturday is similar, while Sunday should be cloudier and cooler.