Zeman: Trying to keep meeting secret “comical”
President Miloš Zeman has for the first time spoken about a secret meeting at his residence that preceded an attempt to remove the leader of his former party, the Social Democrats. In an interview with Právo, Mr. Zeman said the talks had been instigated by people around Michal Hašek, who spearheaded the subsequent move against party chairman Bohuslav Sobotka. Mr. Hašek in particular has been pilloried for denying the meeting took place only to later admit it had happened, and the president said it was “somewhat comical” that the participants had tried to keep the meeting under wraps. The Social Democrats came first in recent elections and the president says he will task their nominee with forming a government.
Tourism sector to get CZK 500 million in COVID funding10/19/2020
The government has agreed to allocate CZK 500 million in support of the tourism sector within the economy, Regional Development Minister Klára Dostálová announced on Monday. The funds will come from Ms. Dostálová’s ministry and will be made available to travel agencies and guides.
Travel agencies will be able to receive CZK 500 for every cancelled trip purchased after December 1, 2019. However, it is so far unclear whether this is the amount per person, or for the whole event. Eligibility for support is also granted to those agencies that could not realise trips to spas, which had to be closed during lockdown.
Agencies focusing on domestic tourism will be eligible for CZK 50,000 in funding. This amount will also be available to guides, under the condition that they offer at least 10 hours of labour to education services administered by the state, or if they undertake a re-skilling programme.
Tuesday is expected to see temperatures range between 13 to 14 degrees Celsius. Skies are likely to be cloudy with no rain.
Weddings and funerals see limitations as new COVID-19 measures enter effect10/19/2020
As of Monday, weddings and funerals can only be attended by up to 30 people, with subsequent celebrations, or wakes having to close by midnight at the latest. Until now, these events were exempt from restrictions and could be attended by an unlimited number of guests.
The measure is likely to be in place until the end of the state of emergency, which is currently set to run out on November 4.
Culture minister goes into quarantine after agriculture minister tests positive for coronavirus10/19/2020
Czech Minister of Culture Lubomír Zaorálek has gone into quarantine, because he came into contact with the Minister of Agriculture Miroslav Toman, the Czech News Agency reported on Monday.
Mr. Toman tested positive last week and is the first member of the Czech government to be infected with the virus. He had a meeting at Prague Castle with the president and a day later, on Thursday, with the culture minister before he was diagnosed. Mr. Zaorálek has quarantined himself and will take a test on Tuesday.
Two persons from Czech president’s circle infected with COVID-1910/19/2020
President Zeman’s advisor Martin Nejedlý has been infected with the COVID-19 coronavirus. Weekend tests showed that one further unnamed employee from the Office of the President has the disease.
Mr Nejedlý told Czech daily Deník N that he tested positive on Saturday and is still not showing symptoms. The controversial advisor to Miloš Zeman said that he is maintaining quarantine and has not come into contact with the president for 10 days already.
The president’s spokesman, Jiří Ovčáček, told the Czech News Agency that safety measures are being maintained and that the president is not under threat.
Man with rabbit ears wins two awards at Warsaw film festival10/19/2020
The new Slovak-Czech film Muž se zaječíma ušima (Man with rabbit ears) directed by Martin Šulík has received two awards at the Warsaw Film Festival. The film, whose release has been delayed due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and was aired at the festival for the first time, received the award for best direction as well as the ecumenical jury award.
Man with rabbit ears stars Czech actor Miroslav Krobot, who is the holder of a Czech Lion award for best actor, as well as two time Czech Lion winner Oldřich Kaiser.
Survey: Czechs afraid of coronavirus, but less cautious than in spring10/19/2020
More than 70 percent of Czechs are worried about the COVID-19 coronavirus, an October Ipsos poll shows. The amount of people concerned about the epidemic rose again after being considerably lower during much of the summer. However, the number is still below the spring period when polling showed that more than four fifths of the public were worried about the virus.
Despite rising concerns, fewer Czechs say that they are sticking to the government proscribed security measures. In April around one third of the population said that they wear gloves and 60 percent said that they do not leave the house unless it is necessary. The October poll showed that the number of glove wearers is now down to just 10 percent, while less than a third of people are as concerned about not venturing outdoors.
The same trend is also noticeable in terms of face mask wearing. While in April more than 80 percent made sure to wear facial protection, now the number lies at 67 percent.
Convoy with field hospital arrives in Prague10/19/2020
A convoy of army vehicles with equipment for the construction of a field hospital for in Prague arrived in the capital on Monday morning. The convoy, accompanied by military police, consisted of 14 vehicles carrying 165 tonnes of material.
The field hospital with the capacity of up to 500 beds will be assembled during the week at the exhibition grounds in the city’s district of Letňany and will be ready to accept patients as of October 25.
The facility, which will be operated by Czech Army, should primarily serve for patients will less severe symptoms of Covid-19.
Czechia sees highest Sunday increase in Covid-19 cases to date10/19/2020
The number of newly-registered Covid-19 cases in the Czech Republic reached 5,059 on Sunday, according to data from the Ministry of Health. It is the highest Sunday figure since the start of the epidemic in March.
Altogether over 174,000 people have tested Covid-19 positive. Over 100,000 people are currently fighting the infection. Some 3,519 people hospitalised with Covid-19, of which 587 are in serious condition. A total of 20 people died on Sunday, bringing the overall death tally in the Czech Republic up to 1,422.
Agriculture minister tests positive for Covid-1910/18/2020
Minister of Agriculture, Miroslav Toman has tested positive for Covid-19, the ministry informed on Sunday. While several ministers had already been in quarantine due to contact with infected people, Mr. Toman is the first member of the Czech government to test positive for the disease.
Last Wednesday, the Agriculture Minister attended a meeting with President Miloš Zeman at the Lány Chateau. His spokesman, Jiří Ovčáček, said that they have observed strict hygienic measures and that the president is not at risk of contracting the disease.