Government proposes extending state of emergency until 20 December, minimum wage should increase by 600 crowns

The Government has asked the Chamber of Deputies to agree with the extension of the state of emergency for another 30 days, i.e. until 20 December. The Cabinet has also approved increasing the minimum wage to 15 200 crowns and to extend some of the measures against the spread of the coronavirus epidemic. The Ministers also decided to support the laid-off employees of Sokolovská uhelná.

In light of the current epidemic situation (in Czech language), the government decided to ask the Chamber of Deputies for a further extension of the state of emergency, this time until 20 December 2020. The extension is needed due to the necessity to keep in force the anti-epidemic measures that have already been accepted.

The Government also decided to change some of the measures meant to limit the spread of the coronavirus so that they correspond to the fifth level on the PES anti-epidemic system’s table (in Czech language).

The Government also decided to change some of the measures meant to limit the spread of the coronavirus. From 18 to 20 November, the crisis measure on the ban on the free movement of persons has been changed. Now a maximum of 15 people can participate in weddings, funerals or religious services. Athletes in outdoor sports facilities will also have an exception.

From 18 to 20 November there is also a change to the crisis measure on the ban on retail sales and services. The possible sales hours will be extended until 9 p.m., there can only be a maximum of 1 customer in the premises for each 15 m2 of retail space and now there is an exception from the ban for dog and cat salons.

From 18 to 20 November students from grades 1 and 2 will be able to go to school and school clubs for face-to-face learning under strict anti-epidemic measures. The exceptions from the measures on the restriction on school operations now also include, for example, individual consultations in elementary and high schools. Information on the restrictions in the area of schools from 18 November can be found at https://koronavirus.edu.cz/informace-a-faq#omezeni-do-201117 (in Czech language).

Effective from 18 to 20 November 2020, the extraordinary measure of the Ministry of Health on the wearing of respiratory protective equipment  (in Czech language) has changed and effective from 17 November the protective measure has been changed with regard to Czech border crossings (in Czech language). The possibility to travel to red countries without a test has been extended to 24 hours. This applies to health, family, sales or work reasons. The possibility of travelling has also changed for unmarried couples. Now it will also be possible to meet a partner from a country that might require a visa to the Czech Republic. The condition is the demonstration of a long-term relationship.

The Government has approved an increase of the minimum wage rate. Starting from 1 January 2021, it should increase from 14 600 to 15 200 crowns. The goal is to bolster the motivation to work and increase the earning level of employees. More in the press release of the Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs (in Czech language).

Today the Government approved an amendment to decrease the social effects related to restructuring or a downturn in activities in companies involved in the mining of coal or uranium. The amendment aims at minimising the expected effects of the loss of employment of the existing employees of Sokolovská uhelná. The lay-offs will affect about 1000 employees and their families. Thanks to the amendment, the laid-off employees will be able to become recipients of a state contribution to structuralisation in the amount of 5 300 crowns a month for a period of from 5 to 36 months. Employees who worked without interruption in the company for 25 years and have reached the age of 55 can apply for up to 60 months.

The newly-approved amendment to the regulation on tolls brings a “three-component” structure for toll rates from 1 January 2021. The main changes concern the fees, which will no longer apply for the calendar year, but for a year from the moment of purchase. Plus, fees for 30 days are introduced for vehicles powered by natural gas or biomethane. The toll rates also differ according to various criteria. These include, for example, the category of roads, category of vehicles, degree of pollution or weight of the vehicle. More information in the press release from the Ministry of Transport (in Czech language).

The government also approved the crisis measures that are meant to ensure the operation of critical infrastructure elements during a pandemic. This applies to the routine measures concerning employees, and now the critical infrastructure subjects must specify the essential contractual suppliers, keep an updated list of them and regularly hand over this list to the relevant ministry or other administrative authority. This is a measure that already applied during the spring during the first wave of the pandemic.

The Covid – School Field Trip subsidy programme is oriented on aid to accommodation facilities that organise school field trips. It will provide support in the amount of 27% of the amounts of the contracted school stays that did not take place. It will specifically apply for the period from 25 May until 29 June 2020. The support will be in the maximum amount of 400 crowns per student per day. A total of 65 million crowns has been prepared for the implementation of the subsidy title. The implementation itself will take place in the period from 30 November 2020 until 30 June 2021. More information in the press release from the Ministry for Regional Development (in Czech language).

The Government will release up to 825 million crowns for the support of the renewal of sporting activities. The money was originally meant for the Covid – Sport programme, for which a total of 1 billion crowns was earmarked. The unused 825 million crowns will thus be used in the support of restarting sports to support club activities, sporting events for registered athletes and the renewal of sporting activities after the epidemic. The goal is to create quality conditions for athletes so that they can prepare for the representation of the Czech Republic. The support also applies to young and handicapped athletes.

The Government also discussed a set of measures in the area of mental health care for the second wave of the Covid-19 epidemic. The measures include the implementation of an information campaign in the area of mental health, increasing the mental health helplines, including the Army and integrated rescue system units in psychological support and increasing the availability of psychotherapy and psychosocial intervention. At the same time, a programme for the prevention of mental illnesses will be implemented in schools and a network of health crisis centres with comprehensive care will be created.