• 11/19/2021

    Czech laboratories recorded 13,374 new coronavirus cases on Thursday, nearly 3,000 more than on the same day last week. Hospitals were treating some 4,750 Covid-19 patients, about 1,000 more on last Thursday.

    The country recorded 22,511 cases on Tuesday – the highest number since the pandemic began, according to Ministry of Health data.

    Only 58 percent of people in the Czech Republic are fully vaccinated against the coronavirus, placing the country in the bottom half of fellow European Union member states.

    Against that backdrop, the outgoing government has introduced a raft of restrictions on people who have not gotten the jab, including barring them from visiting indoor establishments, effective as of Monday.

    Author: Brian Kenety
  • 11/19/2021

    Prague authorities illegally blocked protesters from demonstrating on Hradčanské náměstí against the state visit of China’s president Xi Jinping in March 2016, a municipal court has ruled.

    The protesters had wanted to voice their opinion on China’s human rights record. Despite having secured a permit to demonstrate, they were prevented from assembling on Hradčanské náměstí, a square near Prague Castle, due to “security concerns”.

    Former deputy prime minister Martin Bursík and several protest organisers filed suit against the municipality and police for infringing on the right to free assembly and free speech.

    If the Prague Municipal Court is appealed, the case could go to the Supreme Administrative Court.

    Author: Brian Kenety
  • 11/19/2021

    Czech lender Moneta Money Bank has agreed a re-worked 26 billion crown deal to buy the Air Bank group from PPF, its largest shareholder. Moneta shareholders had rejected a bid earlier this year.

    PPF, the investment group founded by the late billionaire Petr Kellner, is trying to combine its Czech and Slovak lending assets with Moneta to create a bank aimed at retail and small-business customers.

    The revamped deal, subject to shareholder approval at a December 20 meeting, is no longer conditional on gaining a majority share, PPF said.

    Author: Brian Kenety
  • 11/18/2021

    The outgoing Czech government has tightened restrictions on people who have not been vaccinated against Covid-19 amid a fresh surge of tens of thousands of infections.

    As of Monday (November 22), only those who are fully vaccinated or have had coronavirus in the past six months may enter restaurants, use services, or attend cultural or sporting events.

    Prime Minister Andrej Babiš said the government will also reintroduce compulsory mass testing at workplaces and continue blanket testing at schools. He called those who refuse to get vaccinated "selfish" for "endangering health care for other citizens".

    The outgoing the cabinet is also calling on all companies to allow employees to work from home if possible and not hold large events

    The raft of restrictions came after the Czech daily tally of cases soared to 22,511 on Tuesday, eclipsing by almost 5,000 cases the previous record set on January 7.

    Author: Brian Kenety
  • 11/18/2021

    Two Czech restaurants, La Dégustation Bohême Bourgeoise and Field, both in the capital city, have retained their Michelin stars in the organisation’ “Main Cities of Europe” guide for 2021.

    Field, located by the Vltava River, received their Michelin star in 2016. La Degustation Boheme Bourgeoise, in Old Town, was first awarded theirs in 2012.

    Michelin singled out five other Prague restaurants for their “good quality at good prices” - Na Kopci, Divinis and Eska, followed by The Eatery and Dejvická 34.

    Author: Brian Kenety
  • 11/18/2021

    A former Charter 77 signatory, an Auschwitz survivor, a former scout in the anti-communist resistance and a man jailed for trying to flee the communist regime were honoured on Wednesday evening at the National Theatre in Prague.

    The Memory of the Nation prize went to Jarmila Stibicová, a Chartist often interrogated by the secret police, Lívia Herzová, who saved her mother’s life in Auschwitz , Jiří Lukšíček, who organized a scout resistance group and did six years of forced labour in the uranium mines, and František Vaczula, imprisoned for trying to escape across the border.

    The Post Bellum association has been giving out the awards since 2010, on November 17th, the anniversary of the start of the Velvet Revolution, and a national holiday – the Struggle for Freedom and Democracy Day.

    Author: Brian Kenety
  • 11/18/2021

    A preliminary assessment by the European Commission has found network-sharing agreements in the Czech Republic may contravene EU competition law.

    The assessment concerns agreements between T-Mobile CZ, O2 Czech Republic, and the infrastructure provider CETIN as well as a Mobile Network Services Agreement between O2 Czech Republic and CETIN.

    According to the Commission, they reduce the ability and incentive to invest unilaterally in network infrastructure and so may negatively affect competition on the retail and wholesale markets for mobile telecommunications services.

    Author: Brian Kenety
  • 11/18/2021

    Friday should see clear to partly skies and average daytime highs of 8 to 12 degrees Celsius.

  • 11/18/2021

    Czech online food retailer Rohlik Group plans to launch services in the first half of 2022 in Italy and Romania, and later in the year also in Spain.

    In those markets, the Rohlik Group will operate under brands whose name means “sesame”. The Czech retailer, valuated at over EUR 1 billion, has already expanded to Germany, Austria and Hungary.

    Author: Brian Kenety
  • 11/18/2021

    The 9th annual Night of Theatres festival is due to take place on Saturday night with the participation of more than 80 theatres in 30 towns and cities around the Czech Republic.

    As in previous editions, apart from presenting plays and other works for free, participating theatres plan to give guided tours, host talks with artists, and hold panel sessions.

    Last year, the festival was held online due to the coronavirus pandemic. Organisers say participants in the 9th edition must show proof of vaccination or a negative Covid-19 test and wear facemasks.

    Author: Brian Kenety

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