• Government to add eight non-EU states to free travel list Wednesday

    06/30/2020

    The government will on Wednesday add eight non-EU states to its list of countries from which people can travel freely to the Czech Republic. The countries are Montenegro, Serbia, Thailand, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Japan and South Korea. As of now, Czechs can only freely enter Montenegro and Serbia among the states on the list.

    The Czech list is around half as long as one approved by European Union member states, including the Czech Republic. The Prague government selected its own national list on the basis of the countries’ Covid-19 situation, degree of mutual tourism and the possibility of reciprocity.

    Author: Ian Willoughby
  • Strict measures start in areas of Moravian-Silesian Region with local Covid-19 outbreaks

    06/30/2020

    Strict measures were imposed on Tuesday in the areas of Karviná and in Frýdek-Místek in the Moravian-Silesian Region, which have seen local outbreaks of Covid-19 in recent days. There is a fresh ban on visiting hospitals or social care facilities, the maximum attendance at public events is 100 and restaurants and bars must again close at 11 pm.

    People in Karviná and Frýdek-Místek must also continue wearing facemasks in enclosed spaces and on public transport.

    Author: Ian Willoughby
  • Ministry to publish daily map of coronavirus risk spots

    06/30/2020

    From Wednesday the Czech Ministry of Health will publish a daily updated map of the country showing the relative risk of Covid-19 in each district. The map will take into account rises in newly detected coronavirus cases, hospitalisation and other trends over the previous day and week.

    National health statistics chief Ladislav Dušek said that a “risk score” would rate districts from zero to 10. Districts with no known occurrence of Covid-19 will get a zero rating on the map while those rated nine or 10 will be considered highest risk.

    In addition, the number of freshly discovered cases will only be published once daily.

    Author: Ian Willoughby
  • Study: One in 20 Czechs suffering serious financial problems

    06/30/2020

    Twenty percent of Czech adults have had to watch their spending in the wake of the coronavirus crisis, while 400,000 people – or around 5 percent of the population – have been left with serious financial problems, suggests a study conducted by the STEM polling agency and consultants KPMG. The regular index of the financial situation of households is now at the same level as it was in 2017, its authors said on Tuesday.

    Mojmír Hampl of KPMG said many people had accumulated savings, major redundancies have not yet arrived and there had been no obligation to repay deferred liabilities. He said this was a kind of calm before unfavourable data that will hit at a later date.

    Author: Ian Willoughby
  • Minister: No need for facemasks in schools in September if situation stays stable

    06/30/2020

    The minister of education, Robert Plaga, says if the coronavirus situation in the Czech Republic does not deteriorate, children should be able to return to school in September without facemasks, the news site iDnes.cz reported. He made the comments while handing out end-of-year marks to pupils at an elementary school in Prague’s Karlín district.

    Mr. Plaga said that the country’s education system had handled the coronavirus situation wonderfully. During the summer Ministry of Education officials will prepare special instructions on how schoolchildren can prevent the spread of Covid-19, he said.

    Author: Ian Willoughby
  • Weather forecast

    06/30/2020

    It should be largely overcast in the Czech Republic on Wednesday, with temperatures of up to 24 degrees Celsius. Further cloudy weather is expected over the following week.

    Author: Ian Willoughby
  • Czech car industry set to lose at least CZK 215 billion in 2020

    06/30/2020

    Czech auto makers and parts manufacturers expect a fall of at least CZK 215 billion in revenues this year, representatives of the Automotive Industry Association said on Tuesday. While 1.4 million cars were produced in the Czech Republic last year, the figure for 2020 is expected to be 300,000 lower. This is because of an interruption in production and a fall in demand stemming from the coronavirus crisis.

    The downturn caused by the pandemic has already caused CZK 150 billion in losses and these are expected to further deepen.

    Author: Ian Willoughby
  • Czech gov’t propose flat income tax for entrepreneurs

    06/30/2020

    The government has proposed allowing self-employed persons with an annual income of up to CZK 800,000 to pay a flat tax as of next year of CZK 5,740 crowns per month.

    The flat-rate tax includes health insurance premiums of CZK 2,514, income tax in the symbolic amount of 100 crowns and a 15 percent higher minimum social insurance premium (CZK 3,126 as of 2020).

    Finance Minister Alena Schillerová said the aim is to reduce bureaucracy, both in terms of administration and eliminating most reasons for tax office inspections.

    The higher social insurance premium aims to help self-employed people save more for their retirement, as most now pay only the bare minimum. In opting for the flat tax, self-employed people would no longer be able to apply any other tax rebates and discounts, such as for dependent children.

    Author: Brian Kenety
  • Czech gov’t objects to EP resolution on Babiš’s ‘conflict of interest’

    06/29/2020

    The Czech government has objected to parts of a European Parliament resolution adopted on June 19 about the alleged conflict of interest of Prime Minister Andrej Babiš.

    According to the government’s draft response, the cabinet states MEPs have via that resolution interfered in the internal and political affairs of an EU member state, ČTK reports.

    Babiš stands accused of continuing to exert control over the Agrofert conglomerate he founded, whose companies have long received substantial EU and Czech subsidies.

    The EP resolution states that the body “Strongly disapproves of oligarch structures drawing on EU agricultural and cohesion funds whereby a small minority of beneficiaries receive the vast majority of EU funds”.

    The Czech government’s response says that the EP resolution violates the presumption of innocence and anticipates the final result of the ongoing EU audit on Babiš's conflict of interest. All but two cabinet members signed it, ČTK reports.

    Author: Brian Kenety
  • Extreme flood risk in effect for Pardubice districts, other regions

    06/29/2020

    There is an extreme risk of floods in the Pardubice districts of Chrudim, Pardubice and Moravská Třebová on Monday afternoon, the Czech Hydrometeorological Institute warns.

    Due to heavy rain, several other regions could experience flooding by noon on Tuesday, it said. These includes parts of the Hradec Králové, Moravian-Silesian, Olomouc and Vysočina regions.

    Author: Brian Kenety

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