CORONAVIRUS – CURRENT DEVELOPMENT
LAST UPDATE On October 21 (1 p.m.)
LATEST NEWS: The government has announced new measures against coronavirus, which will apply from Thursday until the end of the state of emergency, ie November 3. These are the following:
- restrictions on free movement of people – movement is limited to travel to work, shopping and family visits. Being outside is possible in a maximum of two people, with the exception of members of one family.
- closing of retail stores – from Thursday 6:00 a.m., all stores will be closed, except for the basic assortment such as food shops, gardening, florists, opticians, pet shops, or drugstores. Shopping centers remain open for the time being.
- a ban on the sale of services in establishments – with the exception of servicing of household appliances, laundries and dry cleaners, locksmithing, car washes and others
- complete list of exceptions is availlable in the government resolution here
The government also recommended that employers use homeoffice as much as possible, support the use of leave and limit the performance of work that is not crutial for maintaining their business activities.
As of today, the obligation to wear masks also applies outdoors in urban areas of municipalities whenever the distance of 2 m from other persons is not possible. Exceptions are family members and people playing sports. Parks are also an exception as they are not considered a part of urban areas. Masks are also mandatory in cars, unless you drive alone or with family members.
On October 14, the Government introduced support programs for entrepreneurs affected by measures against coronavirus – key ones include:
- Extension of the Antivirus A program – 100% of the salary, including levies, will be reimbursed, up to the amount of CZK 50,000 for the period from October 1
- Tax relief – postponement of all VAT, income tax and road tax payments from Wednesday to the end of the year for entrepreneurs with a predominant field of activity, which is directly affected by government restrictions
- Rent compensation – a contribution of 50% of the rent for the third quarter of this year for entrepreneurs who are not allowed to run their business
- Continuation of the COVID-culture program – contribution of up to 50% of eligible expenses for moved or canceled cultural events and up to 80% of eligible expenses for continuously developed activities in the field of culture
- Continuation of the COVID-sport program – compensation for professional clubs and commercial organizers of sports events to cover wasted costs. However, events that had to be canceled in the autumn are not included in this support
- Support for tour operators – compensation for tour operators for losses suffered from the beginning of the March state of emergency until the end of June, a maximum of 135 crowns per seat per day
On Friday, the Government will also discuss support for self-employed persons and partners of s.r.o., who are unable to carry out their activities as a result of the measures. The proposed amount of the contribution is 500 crowns for each day of closing the establishment.
The Government has announced new measures against coronavirus, most of which are valid from October 13 and will last until November 3 – the most important ones are:
- restriction of gathering: Maximum of 6 people can gather indoors or outdoors. Exceptions apply to the family, meetings of bodies of municipalities, political parties or legal entities. Weddings and funerals can be held for a maximum of 30 people.
- ban on alcohol consumption in public – it is forbidden to consume alcohol in public places.
- ban on restaurants – restaurants, bars and clubs will be temporarily closed, however restaurants can open a take away window between 6:00 and 20:00. Hotel restaurants can be open until 20:00.
- wearing masks – as of October 13, masks are also mandatory at stops, platforms and in public transport waiting rooms, until further notice.
- distance learning – from October 14 to November 1, all schools except kindergartens will switch to distance learning. The exception applies to internships for medical students and university exams for up to 10 people. It is also forbidden for students to stay in dormitories if they have other place of residence in the Czech Republic.
- work duty for medical students – students of the fourth and fifth years of medical faculties and students of the final years of other medical disciplines have the obligation to work in hospitals and other medical service providers.
The government also called on citizens to limit their time outside only to necessary cases, ie to go to work, to do their shopping and return home, similarly to spring.
On October 8, the government decided on new measures against coronavirus, effective for the period of two weeks- the most important are:
- restrictions of the operation of restaurants – as of Friday, restaurants will be open until 20:00, with a maximum of four people at the same table, maximum of four people in food courts in malls, where the wifi will have to be disconnected.
- restrictions of sports activities – gyms, fitness centers, indoor pools and swimming pools will remain closed from Friday, a maximum of 20 people can excersise outdoors. Starting on Monday, all professional and amateur sports competitions are prohibited.
- restrictions of culture – as of Monday, all cultural events with more than 10 people inside or more than 20 people outside will be banned. Cinemas and theaters, as well as zoos, will remain closed.
- restriction of the operation of administrative offices – in the next two weeks, the offices will be open two days a week, only for 5 hours.
- restrictions of school attendance – secondary schools will switch to distance learning from Monday, at the 2nd level of primary school half of the children will learn in person, the others will be learning online, the two groups will change after a week.
The government has also announced that people infected with coronavirus will be able to isolate for ten days in hotel-type facilities to reduce the risk of the disease spreading in the family. Cases of so-called social hospitalization will also be transported to hotels, which are mainly people from nursing homes who cannot return there due to the risk of infection. Negotiations with hoteliers on the price of such accommodation are still ongoing.
Last but not least, the Minister of Health announced his intention to test basically all citizens of the Czech Republic. PCR tests would not be used, the Ministry plans on using antigen tests, that do not need to be performed in a lab. However, this project is also still being negotiated.
At the same time (also effective from October 5, 2020), regional hygiene stations of all regions of the Czech Republic issued new extraordinary measures / regulations related to the restrictions of school attendance, spare time hobbies for children and also the ban on singing and sports at schools.
The Government confirmed the declaration of state of emergency once more, starting from October 5, 2020 for 30 days (resolution available here). Along with it, the Government also published a crisis measure consisting of further restriction of mass events (resolution available here) and announced that schools will also be partially closed (the measures on schools yet to be published).
Rules for imposing isolation and quarantine has been amended – the aim is to provide at least a partial relief to the testing capacities which have been quite busy over the past few weeks.
Starting from 24 September 2020, other extraordinary measures will enter into force, this time with further restrictions on the opening hours of catering establishments (they must now be closed between 22:00 and 06:00) as well as further restrictions on mass events (number of participants, social distance).
Starting from September 21, 2020 the new protective measure of the Ministry of Health became effective, cancelling inter alia the obligation of foreign workers to undergo second test for COVID-19.
Starting from September 10, 2020 it is once more mandatory to wear protective respiratory equipment in interior premises and public transportation – the extraordinary measure of the Ministry of Health introducing this obligation is available here (our English working translation here).
Due to the expected increased concentration of people in public transport and publicly accessible areas, which is expected by Ministry of Health with respect to the end of the summer holidays and the beginning of a new school year, as well as due to the currently adverse development of the spread of COVID-19 disease the Ministry of Health has issued new extraordinary measures tightening the current measures. From September 1, 2020, the following four extraordinary measures are effective:
- ban on mass events (over 500 people in inner premises, or over 1000 people in outer premises) + obligation to use respiratory protective equipment at such events with participation of over 100 people (fulltext of the measure can be found here)
- re-introduction of the obligation to use respiratory protective equipment (defined inner premises of buildings and public transport) (fulltext of the measure can be found here)
- reduction of the obligation of isolation and quarantine from min. 14 to min. 10 days (fulltext of the measure can be found here)
- restrictions of visits in healthcare facilities (fulltext of the measure can be found here)
- issued by the Ministry of Health is available here
- more stringent measures in some regions based on measures issued by the relevant regional hygiene station (available here)