• 03/02/2021

    The operators of the successful Czech online supermarket Rohlík have received around CZK 5 billion from investors. Rohlik Group said in a statement that it would use the funding to accelerate expansion on existing markets and for a planned move into Germany.

    The firm is already operating on the Hungarian and Austrian markets. In the Czech Republic its green and white delivery vans have been even more visible since the Covid pandemic hit the country.

    Author: Ian Willoughby
  • 03/02/2021

    The government has reactivated a project on the development of a Czech vaccine against Covid-19. The project was terminated late last year, after successfully concluding the first phase of tests on mice.

    In view of the availability of commercial vaccines, the government saw no point in taking it into a second phase involving clinical tests, which would cost an estimated 250 million crowns.

    The Cabinet has now revised its stand, on the argument that a domestic vaccine would be an advantage in view of the various mutations that may require repeated vaccinations in future years.

  • 03/02/2021

    The government will provide three million respirators from state reserves to socially disadvantaged groups of the population, Labour and Social Affairs Minister Jana Maláčová said following Monday’s cabinet meeting. The respirators will be distributed via food banks and social workers.

    Children’s homes and foster carers will also receive 170,000 respirators and nano-filter face masks free of charge. People in need will be able to apply for financial support for the purchase of protective gear, namely 500 crowns per person per month.

  • 03/01/2021

    The government has ordered compulsory blanket testing in companies in order for them to be able to remain in operation at the height of the coronavirus crisis. Companies with over 250 employees will have to start testing on Wednesday and conclude the first round of testing no later than March 12, companies with over 50 employees no later than March 15. The state will contribute to the cost of testing for each employee four times a month. Companies have been asked to place as many employees on home office as possible. Those on home office need not be tested. The fine for failing to comply can reach half a million crowns.

    At its session on Monday the government also approved a proposal for people in quarantine to receive a full wage, in an effort get people with Covid symptoms to get a test and remain in isolation for a 14 day period. Presently many people try to avoid this, because the sick pay only amounts to 60 percent of their earnings. The change would be valid for a period of two months. The lower house is to debate the amendment to the law on Tuesday and the Senate should vote on it on Wednesday.

  • 03/01/2021

    Tuesday should be clear and sunny around the country with day temperatures between 8 and 12 degrees Celsius.

  • 03/01/2021

    The Czech Republic registered 4,557 news cases of Covid-19 on Sunday, which is roughly 500 more than on the same day a week ago. Close to 150,000 people are currently fighting the infection, of which 1,500 are in a serious condition.

    The first three cases of Covid 19 were registered in the Czech Republic on March 1 of last year. Since then over 1, 239 000 people have been confirmed Covid positive; 20,469 have died of Covid or related complications. The current number of infected is the highest on record.

  • 03/01/2021

    People over the age of 70 have started registering for a Covid vaccine in the central registration system. Over 100,000 of them registered by mid-day Monday. There are over 1 million people aged over 70 in the Czech Republic.

    Teachers started registering on Saturday, the third group to be given priority after health workers and people over 80. As of Monday GPs have joined the vaccination process as well, using mainly AstraZeneca vaccines.

    Over 653,000 people have already been vaccinated with 240,000 having received both doses.

  • 03/01/2021

    The prime ministers of German states Saxony, Bavaria and Thuringia have agreed to send 15,000 Covid vaccines to the Czech Republic, which now has the highest rate of infections per capita in the world.

    France has promised the country 100,000 doses of the Pfizer BioNTech vaccine and Israel has helped out with 5,000 doses of the Moderna vaccine.

    The country has been seeking to increase the number of vaccines at its disposal as the only possible way out of the crisis which has brought the health system close to collapse.

    President Miloš Zeman said on Sunday he has been promised a delivery of the Russian vaccine Sputnik, despite the fact that it does not yet have approval by the European Medicines Agency.

  • 03/01/2021

    The government is to debate compulsory testing in the industrial sector which has remained in operation despite the restrictions in place.

    Prime Minister Andrej Babiš has said he wants to make antigen testing compulsory in companies with over 250 employees as of Friday, March 5, and in companies with over 50 employees a week later. The state would contribute 60 crowns to the cost of testing for each employee four times a month.

    The Social Democratic Party, a junior partner in the minority government, says this is not enough given the gravity of the situation and wants to propose closing down companies until they are ready to start regular testing.

    The prime minister has warned of the dangers of closing down the country’s industry which accounts for 40 percent of the GDP.

  • 03/01/2021

    Twenty-six thousand police officers, close to 4,000 soldiers and 270 customs officers have been deployed around the country to monitor adherence to the tightened restrictions on travel.

    People on the road may be asked to produce an affidavit or written statement from their employer stating the reason why they are travelling from one district to another despite the ban in place.

    People with permanent residence in cities may decide to stay at their country cottage, but they must remain in the given district for the entire three weeks that the travel ban is in force.

    Prague is regarded as one district and its inhabitants will be able to move around the city freely.  People can be fined up to 20,000 crowns for violations.

    Police are also making random checks on trains and busses.