Government extends state of emergency and all current crisis measures until 20 November

State of emergency in the Czech Republic to remain in force until 20 November. Based on the earlier consent of the Chamber of Deputies, the Government at an extraordinary meeting on 30 October 2020 has decided on an extension of three weeks. At the same time, with minor changes and additions, it has also extended all the crisis measures that were due to expire on Tuesday, 3 November.

With effect from 31 October, the Government has approved an exemption from the ban on operating a business or trade in connection with the upcoming All Souls’ Day for shops selling remembrance goods, such as wreaths, floral decorations for graves, remembrance candles, etc., including stallholders and mobile shops. In addition, these establishments have been exempted from the prohibition on Sunday trading. In addition, stonemasons and other stone working business have been exempted from the prohibition on retail sales and services.

Until 20 November, crisis measures taken by the Government as part of the state of emergency may apply in the Czech Republic as steps to help stop the spread of the Covid-19 pandemic. This was made possible by the consent of the Chamber of Deputies to the continuation of the state of emergency, on the basis of which the government may extend its measures for another three weeks. At the same time, the government regulations currently in force have undergone only minor changes.

The crisis measure which instructs regional governors and the Mayor of Prague to provide care for children from 3 to 10 years of age of employees of selected professions and institutions whose activities are necessary to cope with the pandemic, now also includes the children of employees of schools and other teaching facilities, of the Czech postal service and the Financial Administration.

The restriction on school operations is extended from 2 November,  with the proviso that this measure will be cancelled for selected year grades as soon as the epidemic situation permits. However, the restriction will now be extended to special schools, and teaching will take place on a remote basis from Monday.

Restrictions on the free movement of people now have among their exceptions travel to education and examinations, and travel to elections to the bodies of insurance companies;  with regard to restrictions on the right of assembly, it has been clarified that gatherings will only be allowed outdoors.

On restrictions on retail sales and the sale and provision of services in establishments, restrictions on the operation of spas will change so that spas can accept patients from hospitals, and exceptions now include internships and tests for health professionals and non-medical health professions.

The Government also discussed and adopted several new measures. It decided that for the duration of the state of emergency the operator of the information system of data boxes would not be entitled to remuneration arising from the Act on Electronic Acts and Authorized Conversion of Documents, i.e. that use of data boxes will temporarily be free of charge.

The government also took note of a decision of the Ministry of Health ordering, with effect from 4 November, operators of long-term care hospitals, homes for the elderly, homes for the disabled, homes with special regimes and social service providers providing relief services in the form of residence, as a precaution to test within seven days all their patients and clients with the new antigen tests for the presence of the SARS-CoV-2 virus. They will then have to repeat these tests every seven days and take appropriate measures based on the results.

The government has also approved a crisis measure relating to ensuring and organizing the allocation of space with bed capacity for the isolation of those shown to be infected with the coronavirus. The regional governors and the Mayor of Prague have the task with effect from 9 November 2020 of setting aside or establishing premises in each region and in the capital with bed capacity for the isolation of those diagnosed with a coronavirus infection and whose health does not require health care, to the extent of at least 80 beds per 550,000 inhabitants per region or in the capital and an additional 80 beds for regions with over 550,000 inhabitants. These facilities must have adequate staffing. At the same time, the regions and the capital must be ready to increase this capacity to 200 beds in case of urgent need.