Daily news summary
Petříček to visit Britain to discuss post-Brexit reality for Czechs abroad
Foreign Minister Tomáš Petříček is due to visit Britain on February 7, a week after Brexit took effect, to meet Czech nationals living in the now former European Union member state.
The government will formally discuss Petříček’s mandate for the visit on Monday. But he is due to fly to Manchester, where the Czech Republic opened a new Consulate General for Brexit last year, honor the memory of Czechoslovak soldiers who fell during World War II buried near the city, and visit scientific and research institutions.
Petříček is also expecte to meet with various business and student groups to discuss the post-Brexit situation. Notably, Czechs must register as residents of EU states or lose rights they still enjoy until end-2020, under a transitional period.
Czech authorities declare influenza epidemic, 12 deaths reported
The spread of influenza has been officially declared an epidemic. Over the past week, the number of reported cases jumped 22 percent to 1,865 per 100,000 inhabitants, nearly 400 cases above the epidemic threshold.
The Bohemia region is currently most affected, with the greatest number of cases recorded among elementary-school children. To contain its spread, many schools closed temporarily. Some hospitals have restricted or banned patient visits.
Twelve people have already died from complications from the flu. Doctors estimate that the number of influenza-related deaths at between 1,500 to 2,000 each year. Most who succumb are elderly and have existing conditions.
Czech photographer Staša Fleischmannová dies aged 100
Renowned Czech photographer Staša Fleischmannová, known for her portraits of numerous important figures such as Karel Čapek, André Breton and Boris Pasternak, as died at the age of 100.
One of her sons, Michel Fleischmann, the current Czech ambassador to France, said that she would be buried on February 5 at Olšany Cemetery in Prague.
Staša Fleischmannová and her twin sister, Olga Housková, opened a Prague photo studio in the famous Topič building on Národní Street in 1939. They worked together on many portraits.
Czechs begin eighth annual alcohol-free ‘Dry February’
The group Liga otevřených mužů (League of Open Men) on Saturday launched its eight “Dry February” campaign to encourage Czechs to abstain from alcohol for the month. Potential benefits include higher energy levels, and better sleep and sex, the group says.
The “Dry February” campaign initially focused on Czech men, who drink on average at least three times as much as women. In has become more focused on education so that people also realise the risks associated with regular alcohol use.
Czechia has among the highest rates of alcohol consumption per capita worldwide. Health statistics show almost 1 million Czechs are at risk of alcohol abuse, while associated costs exceed CZK 59 billion annually.
According to Liga otevřených mužů, last year about 6 percent of adults accepted the call to refrain from drinking during February.
Floorball: Czechs beat Dutch to qualify for 2020 World Cup in Helsinki
The Czech men’s floorball team has secured a spot in this year's World Cup in Helsinki.
Following a 7-1 win over the Netherlands at qualification tournament in Latvia on Friday evening, the Czechs are in first place in Group E.
The World Cup hosted by Helsinki runs from 4–12 December 2020. The Finnish team are the reigning champions, having defended their gold medal in Prague in 2018.
Hockey: Sparta Prague name Miloslav Hořava to replace sacked coach Uwe Krupp
Hockey club Sparta Prague have named Miloslav Hořava to replace German national Uwe Krupp as the Extraliga team’s head coach.
Hořava played for Czechoslovakia at two Winter Olympics, where the team won silver and bronze medals, and for parts of several NHL seasons for the New York Rangers.
He began working as a coach in Czech Extraliga since 2002 but left in 2006 to coach the Czech National U-20 Team.
Krupp had led Sparta since May 2018 before being sacked on Thursday. His assistant coach Jaroslav Nedvěd was also recalled.
Light rain is in the forecast for Sunday morning in parts of Bohemia, with skies clearing in the afternoon. Average daytime highs should range from 6 to 9 degrees Celsius.