Government approves special law on pandemics

The Czech government has approved new legislation allowing for special measures aimed at dealing with the Covid-19 situation, the prime minister, Andrej Babiš, said on Monday.

The country’s regional governors requested that the law on pandemics be fast-tracked in the lower house in talks with ministers at the weekend.

After MPs rejected again extending a state of emergency, the governors – saying their power to impose a “state of danger” were insufficient to deal with the epidemic – asked the government to declare a new state of emergency themselves. Critics say the step, which came into effect at midnight, was unconstitutional.

The draft bill agreed by the cabinet on Monday is similar to a similar one approved by ministers in May last year but withdrawn after criticism from the opposition.

Author: Ian Willoughby