One in three Czechs associate Christmas with going to church, survey suggests
Some 36 percent of Czechs associate Christmas with visiting a church, which is something they do even if they do not regard themselves as Christian, suggests a survey by the STEM agency released on Tuesday. In 1995 some 45 percent of Czechs said that Christmas was for them connected with going to church. Roughly eight percent of Czechs attend a church at least once a month, the new poll indicates.
Culture Ministry hands out state awards in the arts sphere10/28/2020
The Czech Ministry of Culture traditionally handed out awards in the arts and culture sphere on the occasion of Czechoslovak Independence Day.
Due to the coronavirus restrictions the names of the laureates were announced online.
Michal Ajvaz received the Prize for Literature, Blanka Stárková for Translation.
The late Czech-born film director Miloš Forman received an award for lifelong contribution to cinematography in memoriam.
The list of 2020 laureates also includes Jiří Tichota from the folk spiritual quintet and former artistic director, now artistic advisor of the Karlovy Vary International Film Festival Eva Zaoralová.
The names of the eight winners can be found on the ministry‘s website.
Several hundred people protest against coronavirus restrictions10/28/2020
Several hundred people took to the streets of Prague to protest against government measures aimed at bringing the coronavirus epidemic under control on Wednesday.
The biggest protest took place on Prague's Namesti republiky square where police officers and the anti-riot squad intervened to enforce the government-imposed health restrictions by forming a barrier to keep large groups of protesters apart.
Current government measures against the spread of Covid-19 allow demonstrations with a maximum of 100 participants.
The speakers addressing the crowd accused the government of enforcing measures that did not work but impoverished the nation.
Independence Day celebrations low-key10/28/2020
Celebrations of Czechoslovak Independence Day are low-key this year due to the ongoing pandemic.
The traditional award-giving ceremony at Prague Castle has been cancelled as has the ceremony at Vitkov Hill at which the country’s top officials, war veterans and church dignitaries lay wreaths at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.
The country’s top officials and political leaders are visiting Vitkov Hill individually to lay wreaths and flowers at the memorial.
Prague Castle will release a list of those who have been awarded high state distinctions on the occasion of the public holiday and President Miloš Zeman will address the nation on national television.
Planned cultural events have had to go online and Czech Television is featuring a series of special programs to mark the 102 anniversary of Czechoslovakia’s founding.
Number of newly registered Covid-19 cases hits new high10/28/2020
The number of newly registered Covid-19 cases reached 15,663 on Tuesday, an increase by 400 on last weeks record.
The number of people hospitalized and those in a serious condition continues to grow steeply, as does the death toll.
170,000 people are currently fighting the infection, over 6,000 people are hospitalized with Covid-19, of which close to 900 are in a serious condition. The death toll has reached 2,547.
Night curfew and ban on Sunday sales now in force10/28/2020
Strict new measures aimed at bringing the coronavirus epidemic under control came into force on Wednesday, October 28.
The government has enforced a night curfew between 9pm and 5am, employers have been asked to employ home office wherever possible, food and other stores selling essential goods, which still remain open, have to be closed on Sundays and will have to close their doors by 8pm on weekdays.
People are being encouraged to shop twice a week instead of going out daily and minimize their contacts with others as much as possible.
In an interview for Czech Radio, Foreign Minister Tomáš Petříček said the authorities were running out of possible measures to bring the epidemic under control and did not rule out a complete lockdown if the present measures fail to be effective.
He said that at the present time the government was still divided on a complete lockdown.
Centre-right opposition parties sign alliance memorandum for 2021 elections10/27/2020
The leaders of the Civic Democrats, Christian Democrats and the TOP 09 party met at the statue of former president T.G. Masaryk on Tuesday morning to sign a memorandum on forming an alliance for next year’s 2021 elections into the Chamber of Deputies.
A similar coalition is currently being negotiated between the opposition Pirate Party and the Mayors and Independents.
Jan Blatný to become new health minister on Thursday10/27/2020
The Deputy Director of the Faculty Hospital in Brno Jan Blatný, will succeed Roman Prymula as Czech health minister. The official inauguration will take place on Thursday mid-day, President Miloš Zeman's spokesman Jiří Ovčáček announced after Mr. Blatný met with President Miloš Zeman in the latter's Lány residence on Tuesday afternoon.
News site iDnes.cz broke the story on Monday that Mr. Blatný was the proposed replacement for Mr. Prymula, citing a source familiar with the ongoing negotiations. However, Mr. Blatný can only assume office once he is approved by the president.
Jan Blatný is a pediatrician and hematologist. He has previously served as the Chief Physician at the Faculty Hospital in Brno and lectures at the Medical Faculty of the Masaryk University in Brno. He faced controversy during the spring first wave of the coronavirus pandemic from the NGO League of Human Rights, because he did not allow the parents of coronavirus infected children visits.
The current health minister, Roman Prymula, is set to leave office after being dismissed by Prime Minister Andrej Babiš for breaking the government’s coronavirus measures. He was caught visiting a Prague restaurant last Wednesday.
Wednesday is set to be cloudy, with temperatures around 11 degrees Celsius. No rainfall is expected.
State of pandemic means Czech schools have to remain closed, says health minister10/27/2020
Czech schools will not reopen at the beginning of next week, Health Minister Roman Prymula announced on Tuesday. This despite an earlier promise that primary schools would definitely re-open from November 2. He said that the government will decide on when it plans to reopen schools after reviewing data towards the end of this week.
Both the opposition and the current Minister of Education Robert Plaga have cticisised the delay, saying that it is necessary to provide information on when schools will reopen now.
Czech schools, including primary education facilities, have been closed in the Czech Republic since October 14, due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, which is regularly reaching new height in terms of infections and numbers of hospitalised. Classes are currently being taught via distance learning.
Government proposes extending state of emergency to December 310/27/2020
The Czech government has proposed that the current state of emergency be extended until December 3, Prime Minister Andrej Babiš announced on Tuesday. The proposal will have to be approved by the Chamber of Deputies, which is set to discuss the issue on Friday morning.
The prime minister said that the extension was necessary to keep the several emergency measures, that have been put in place to curb the spread of COVID-19, in place.
The Czech Republic has been in a state of emergency since October 5. It is currently among the most affected countries in Europe by the pandemic.