• 01/19/2022

    The Czech government has decided that it will not make coronavirus vaccination mandatory, Prime Minister Petr Fiala announced at a press briefing on Wednesday. The cabinet does not wish to “widen divisions within society”, he said.

    Today’s government meeting also resulted in the approval of an amendment to the country’s pandemic law. The amendment, prepared by the previous government of the ANO party and the Social Democrats, extends the period for which the legislation is active up to August 2023. Furthermore, new additions will make it possible for the government to enact quarantine and isolation measures, or limit dance club attendance.

    Health Minister Vlastimil Válek announced that further counter-epidemic measures are being prepared, such as allowing booster doses for children over the age of 12.

    Author: Tom McEnchroe
  • 01/19/2022

    The Senate’s Committee on Foreign Affairs, Defence and Security has called on the government to revise its relations with the Russian Federation in a way that would be beneficial for both sides. Members of the committee believe that this should include an apology and compensation for the explosion at the Vrbětice munitions depot in 2014, which was caused by Russian GRU agents according to Czech intelligence. The position was announced by the head of the committee, Senator Pavel Fischer, on Wednesday.

    Author: Tom McEnchroe
  • 01/19/2022

    Thursday will be overcast with occasional snowfall and temperatures ranging between 0 to three degrees Celsius.

    Author: Tom McEnchroe
  • 01/19/2022

    Czech tennis player Barbora Krejčíková advanced into the 3rd round of the Australian Open on Wednesday after beating China’s Wang Xiu 6:2 and 6:3. It is the first time that Ms Krejčíková has advanced this far in the first Grand Slam of the year. Last year’s Roland Garros winner will face Jeļena Ostapenko in her next game.

    Meanwhile, fellow Czech Tereza Martincova lost her 2nd round game 2:6 and 6:7 to Italy’s Camila Giorgio.

    Thursday will see three more Czechs play their 2nd round games at the Australian Open. Markéta Vondroušová will face Russia’s Ludmilla Samsonova, Marie Bouzková will clash with Estonia’s Kaia Kanepi and Tomáš Macháč will compete in the men’s category against American Maxime Cressy.

    Author: Tom McEnchroe
  • 01/19/2022

    Two years of the coronavirus pandemic have lengthened periods for patients awaiting orthopedic operations. A survey conducted by the Czech News Agency among hospitals showed that waiting periods for an operations have gone up to 3 years in some places, with most hospitals having to extend their waiting times for several months. The delays can also cause negative effects on the physical and mental health of some patients, hospital representatives said.

    Since the beginning of the pandemic, the Czech Ministry of Health has resorted to emergency suspension of operations four times, with the longest period extending for a quarter of a year in the beginning of 2021. Since then, hospitals have tried to catch up with the lost time, but the ongoing pandemic continues to bring complications, according to the Czech News Agency.

    Author: Tom McEnchroe
  • 01/19/2022

    Czech schools may be able to enact extraordinary holidays, or distance learning for a period of up to 10 days if they have a large number of teachers in quarantine due to being exposed to Covid-19. The measure was proposed by Education Minister Petr Gazdík and approved by the government on Wednesday. The legislation could be discussed in the Chamber of Deputies by as early as next week, the Czech News Agency reports.

    Author: Tom McEnchroe
  • 01/19/2022

    This Wednesday, Transport Minister Martin Kupka is set to propose lowering the government discount on transport for selected groups of citizens from the current 75 percent to 50 percent, the Czech News Agency reports. The amendment should come into force in April. The current subsidy, which was passed by the previous government, can be used by children, students up to the age of 26 and over 65s.

    The current ruling coalition considers the level of the subsidy uneconomical and aims to lower it. However, the minister has said that he will propose expanding the subsidy at the same time to include individuals pensioned as invalids of the third degree.

    Author: Tom McEnchroe
  • 01/19/2022

    In 2021 the Czech Republic saw the second lowest level of air pollution in 10 years, the Czech Hydrometeorological Office announced on Tuesday. Only 2020 saw lower pollution levels.

    Automatic measurement devices showed that air quality predominantly ranged mainly from “good” to “very good”, with the lowest levels of pollution registered predominantly in the south of the country. Meanwhile, the worst levels were registered in the north-east, around the mining areas of SIlesia.

    Author: Tom McEnchroe
  • 01/19/2022

    The average mortgage rate in the Czech Republic climbed to 2.99 percent in December, up from 2.70 the previous month. It was the ninth month in a row that mortgage rates increased.

    The figures come from market analysts Fincentrum, who say December’s month-on-month rise was the highest recorded since it started a mortgage rates index in 2003.

    A Fincentrum representative said Czech mortgage rates would continue to climb.

  • 01/19/2022

    Some 28,469 new cases of Covid-19 were registered in the Czech Republic on Tuesday. This is the highest figure seen since the coronavirus hit the country nearly two years ago. Screening increased this week with the introduction of twice-weekly tests at all workplaces.

    Experts say up to 50,000 cases a day could be recorded in the coming weeks due to a surge in the Omicron variant of the virus.

    The previous one-day record was just under 28,000 on 25 November last year.

    Author: Ian Willoughby

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