• 02/23/2021

    Respirators will be required in some places in the Czech Republic from Thursday, not Tuesday as previously stated. The minister of health, Jan Blatný, announced the new restriction aimed at curbing the spread of Covid-19 at a news conference on Monday night.

    FFP2 or KN95 class respirators will need to be worn in relatively highly frequented places, such as shops, and at hospitals, social care facilities and on public transport. If people do not possess them they may wear nano face masks or two surgical masks instead. Children will be required to wear at least a surgical mask.

    From the end of February such shields must be worn inside buildings and outside in municipalities and in proximity to others.  Home-made masks are no longer accepted as protection.

    Author: Ian Willoughby
  • 02/22/2021

    Czech senators look set to make amendments to a law on pandemics, in view of a Constitutional Court decision overruling government regulations that barred shops and services from opening. Most members of the Senate are now for amending the legislation, Lukáš Wagenknecht of the Pirate Party told journalists.

    The upper house is due to debate the matter on Wednesday. Any Senate modifications would have to be freshly debated by the Chamber of Deputies, meaning the law may not be passed ahead of Saturday, when the current state of emergency declared by the government ends.

    Author: Ian Willoughby
  • 02/22/2021

    A new office of the Czech Embassy in Tel Aviv is due to start operations in Jerusalem from March 1, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said in a news release. It had previously said that the facility was mainly concerned with serving Czech citizens, rather than the creation of a new diplomatic office.

    The office will be staffed by a diplomat and an administrator, with the expenses to be covered from the ministry’s regular budget. The government approved the decision to open it by the minister of foreign affairs, Tomáš Petříček, on Monday. At present the Czech Republic has an honorary consul in Jerusalem.

    Author: Ian Willoughby
  • 02/22/2021

    The government has approved two variants of a new electoral law. MPs are required to pass such legislation after the Constitutional Court repealed elements of the current electoral law.

    One of the new variants envisages maintaining the current 14 regional constituencies. The second would give voters throughout the country the chance to vote from the same list of candidates, turning the country into one large constituency, the Ministry of the Interior said in a news release.

    The minister of the interior, Jan Hamáček, said both versions fulfilled the requirements set out by the Constitutional Court. It will now depend on which one the Chamber of Deputies approves, he said.

    Author: Ian Willoughby
  • 02/22/2021

    There is currently great demand in the Czech Republic for FFP2 type respirators, which will be compulsory in some places from Tuesday. While respirators are sold out in some locations, stocks are gradually being replenished, representatives of medical supplies companies told the Czech News Agency.

    FFP2 or KN95 class respirators will need to be worn in shops and hospitals and on public transport, under a new government decree. If people do not possess them they may wear nano face masks or two surgical masks instead.

    Author: Ian Willoughby
  • 02/22/2021

    Children will not be allowed to return to classrooms unless antigen tests start in schools, the Czech minister of health, Jan Blatný, told journalists. However, a tender to run such tests is being investigated by the police and may be cancelled after questions were raised about the winning company.

    Prime Minister Andrej Babiš has hinted that the tender may be scrapped. However, the minister of the interior, Jan Hamáček, whose government department oversees purchases, says that it followed guidelines to the letter.

    There is little information available about the winner of the tender, Tardigrad International Consulting, which is reportedly based at the same address in Edinburgh as nearly 800 other firms.

    Author: Ian Willoughby
  • 02/22/2021

    The Confederation of Commerce and Tourism has called on the Czech government to allow the reopening of the country’s shops and to provide full compensation for lost revenues, after a regulation forcing retailers to close was overruled by the Constitutional Court.

    The rule was in place from January 28 to February 14. However, the president of the confederation, Tomáš Prouza, said that it was completely identical to a current prohibition on stores opening – and that this too should be cancelled.

    Author: Ian Willoughby
  • 02/22/2021

    Czech tennis player Karolína Muchová has climbed five places to 22nd in the world rankings after an impressive run at the Australian Open. Muchová, who is 24, beat world number one Ashleigh Barty on her way to the semi-finals in Melbourne, the furthest she has ever gone at a Grand Slam tournament.

    Author: Ian Willoughby
  • 02/22/2021

    The Czech Constitutional Court has overruled part of a government regulation forcing retailers and service providers to close because of the Covid situation. Judges said that the government had taken an unequal approach to businesses based on the type of goods they sell and had not sufficiently justified the move.

    The regulation was issued at the end of last month and was valid until mid-February. It was taken to the country’s highest court by a group of senators. Monday’s verdict does not mean that retailers will be allowed to reopen.

    Author: Ian Willoughby
  • 02/22/2021

    It should be clear in the Czech Republic on Tuesday, with a maximum temperature of 14 degrees Celsius. The sunny skies are expected to continue until Thursday.

    Author: Ian Willoughby

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