Government approved proposal of National Recovery Plan for nearly 200 billion, agreed with further easement of epidemic control measures

The Czech Republic will revive and substantially modernise its economy after the crisis caused by the COVID-19 pandemic with the help of the National Recovery Plan. Its proposal was approved by the government at its meeting on Monday, 17 May 2021. It also discussed a proposal of the Ministry of Health for further easement of the extraordinary measures from Monday, 24 May.

Through the National Recovery Plan, the Czech Republic will absorb funding from the newly established EU fund, the Recovery and Resilience Facility. Together with the state budget contribution, the Plan will provide nearly CZK 200 billion for the restart of the Czech economy through investment. The funds will be invested in greener transport modes, healthcare, building high-speed internet networks or constructing new pre-school childcare facilities.

Details on the National Recovery Plan, the set pillars, the content of its components up to the level of specific reforms and investments and financial allocations for the planned activities are available to the public at a special website http://www.planobnovycr.cz (in Czech language), providing also the current version of the National Recovery Plan.

At today’s meeting, the government approved the National Reform Programme of the Czech Republic for 2021. It describes reforms and investments planned by the government for the upcoming twelve months. The document outlines, for example, the current changes in the tax system or support for the accessibility of housing. It describes the procedure in the MY Tax project that digitises the administration of taxes for citizens and entrepreneurs. It sets out the context of the bill on accessibility of housing, which is currently discussed by the Chamber of Deputies of the Czech Parliament and should define the area of social housing or bring the opportunity to support cooperative housing and other.

The government approved the appointment of a new chairman of the National Sports Agency after Milan Hnilička resigned from the leader position. He will be succeeded on 18 May by the former field hockey representative, former Vice-President of the Czech Field Hockey Association and a member of the Czech Olympic Committee plenary, Filip Neusser.

The government discussed and approved a proposal of changes in the extraordinary measures of the Ministry of HealthFrom Tuesday, 18 May, the measure on the use of breathing protection will be modified. The exceptions will newly include sportspeople and exercising persons during their training, exercise, match, competition etc. including running and cycling, as well as customers of services providing care on the head and neck where the protective mask would prevent the use of that service.

A greater easement of the epidemic control measures will be launched on Monday, 24 May. It will concern school attendance where in-person learning will be reopened for higher education students in theoretical subjects and for all remaining secondary school students. The weekly rotation of classes will end where it has been ordered up to now.

The limits for the number of persons will increase in leisure learning centres, hobby education facilities for children, at cultural, sports and club events indoors and outdoors, at congresses or on sports grounds. The limits will be cancelled for entry in indoor pavilions of zoos or botanical gardens for individual tours, there will only be the limitation of letting in only 50 percent of the visitor capacity, 15 m2 of indoor area per person and two-metre distancing. The restriction on accommodating guests in hotels and guest houses will be lifted. However, each guest will have to prove a valid negative COVID-19 test or certificate of recovery from the disease, or certificate of complete vaccination upon arrival.

The government discussed conditions under which it will be possible to renew countryside learning stays of schools. The stays can start on 31 May, the school has to notify the public health authority of the countryside stay, including the address and contact details of the responsible person on the site, and all participants must produce a valid COVID-19 negative test, certification of recovery from the disease or certificate of complete vaccination. During the stay, they will be regularly tested and the hygienic conditions for the stay and catering are strict.

The government also discussed two private members’ bills amending the Transplantation Act and the Civil Code, and gave consent with them, discussed eight findings of the Supreme Audit Office, and approved the 2020 Annual Report on Implementation of the Partnership Agreement in the Period 2014–2020.