• 01/18/2021

    The Czech minister of foreign affairs, Tomáš Petříček, has contracted the coronavirus. Mr. Petříček said in a statement that he had got a positive result with an antigen test on Sunday and that this had been confirmed by a PCR test.

    The foreign policy chief said he did not have severe symptoms but was tired and had cancelled most of his programme on Monday apart from some video conferences. He is the fourth member of the cabinet so far to catch Covid-19.

    Author: Ian Willoughby
  • 01/18/2021

    Shops selling stationery products and children’s clothes and shoes will be allowed to reopen in the Czech Republic from Tuesday in a slight easing of the current restrictions aimed at curbing Covid-19. Members of the cabinet also decided on Monday afternoon to request a further 30-day extension of the present state of emergency; the government’s tiered system setting coronavirus measures is contingent on a state of emergency being in place and the current one runs out at the end of this week.

    In addition the government has decided to create a large-scale Covid vaccination centre at O2 universum, a multi-purpose hall in Prague.

    Author: Ian Willoughby
  • 01/18/2021

    The crime rate in the Czech Republic declined by 16.9 percent year-on-year in 2020, according to data released on Monday. The police recorded a fall in the number of reported crimes in all categories. Thefts were down by around one-quarter on 2019 and violent crime fell by 10 percent. There were 130 murders in the country, a fall of 13 on the number investigated the previous year.

    Author: Ian Willoughby
  • 01/18/2021

    Barbora Strycova, Kateřina Siniaková, Barbora Krejčíková and Tomáš Macháč are among the tennis players being forced to quarantine in their hotels for a fortnight ahead of the Australian Open. The four Czechs were on flights to Australia where other passengers later tested positive for Covid-19 and join around 70 other competitors unable to train ahead of the first Grand Slam of the year.

    Other Czechs such as Karolína Plíšková, Petra Kvitová and Jiří Veselý arrived in Melbourne without any such problems and will be able to practice for five hours a day.

    Author: Ian Willoughby
  • 01/18/2021

    The historical drama Shadow Country by director Bohdan Sláma has picked up the most nominations for the Czech Lion film awards, with 15. Also showing strongly are Charlatan by Agnieszka Holland and Havel by Slávek Horák, both of which are in the running in 14 categories.

    The winners will be announced on March 6. The Czech Lions are being held for the 28th time.

    Author: Ian Willoughby
  • 01/18/2021

    Some 2,618 new cases of Covid-19 were confirmed in the Czech Republic on Sunday, which is the smallest one-day jump seen so far this year. The figure was down around 1,700 on the previous Sunday. There are currently around 145,000 known active cases of the virus.

    According to Ministry of Health data, 6,330 people with the coronavirus are currently in hospital in the country. To date there have been 14,449 known Covid deaths.

    Author: Ian Willoughby
  • 01/18/2021

    It should be overcast in the Czech Republic on Tuesday, with an average temperature of 2 degrees Celsius. Similar weather is expected on the following days, when temperatures may rise slightly.

    Author: Ian Willoughby
  • 01/18/2021

    The Czech Republic’s Covid-19 risk index stood at 70 points out of 100 on Monday. This means that the “score” in the tiered system determining restrictions has been in the level four bracket for five days in succession. Most parameters for determining the index improved on Sunday, but the reproduction number got worse, climbing to 0.71.

    Level five measures have been in place since late December, including the closure of restaurants and hotels and maximum gatherings of two.

    The government is expected hold talks on Wednesday on the possibility of taking the country back to level four restrictions.

    Author: Ian Willoughby
  • 01/18/2021

    Stationery shops, children's clothing and shoe stores as well as lingerie stores may be allowed to reopen as of Tuesday, Prime Minister Andrej Babiš told Czech television on Sunday.

    The prime minister said the government would debate extending the list of essential goods that should be available to the public.

    He said he did not expect any further easing of restrictions for the time being, despite the fact that the epidemic appears to be slowing.

    Mr. Babiš said the pressure on hospitals was still too high to consider loosening the restrictions in place. Over 6,500 people are currently hospitalized with Covid-19; more than 1,100 of them are in a serious condition.

  • 01/18/2021

    Czech Foreign Minister Tomáš Petříček has condemned the detention of opposition politician Alexey Navalny as a “politically motivated act”, adding that he wants to bring up the matter at the next EU Council of Foreign Ministers meeting.

    Charles Michel, President of the European Council, also sharply condemned Navalny’s arrest as “unacceptable” calling for his immediate release.

    The Russian opposition leader was arrested at passport control upon his return to Moscow from Berlin, where he recovered from an assassination attempt with a weapons-grade nerve agent.

    Russian authorities claim his absence constitutes a violation of the parole terms specified in a felony conviction in 2014 for embezzlement and money laundering.

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