MPs debate extending state of emergency until 21 February

The lower house of Parliament is to debate a government proposal to extend the state of emergency by another 30 days, until February 21.

The proposal is likely to win approval since the Communist Party, whose vote is crucial for the outcome, has indicated it would support the proposal, provided that all first graders and school leavers can return to class on 1 February.

Party leader Vojtěch Filip said following a meeting with Prime Minister Andrej Babis that the state of emergency should remain in place for as long as the army is needed to help out in hospitals and care homes.

The opposition parties have said they will not support the proposal.