Government still seeking legal instrument to maintain coronavirus restrictions

The Social Democrats, a junior party in the ruling coalition, on Monday rejected an amendment to the Public Health Protection Act, which would give the Health Ministry greater powers in times of crisis.

The proposal, debated by the cabinet on Monday, was to have enabled the government to maintain a number of restrictions even after the state of emergency in the country ends on May 17.

Social Democrat leader Jan Hamáček argued that in its present form the proposed amendment is in violation of the constitution. He suggested instead an amendment to the constitutional law on security, saying that the Ministry of Interior, which he heads, would draft the amendment by Thursday.

Should that fail, the government would have to ask the lower house to further extend the state of emergency in the country.