The government has approved the rules for the easing up of the emergency measures from May 11, while the state of emergency is valid until 17 May.
At an emergency meeting on Thursday, April 30, the government of Andrej Babiš approved the extension of the state of emergency until May 17. The ministers also agreed on precise rules for the next phase of easing up the emergency measures from May 11, a proposal to help cultural establishments and artists, and a bill to abolish the tax on property acquisition.
The state of emergency in the Czech Republic will apply until May 17. The extension of the time period was decided by the government of Andrej Babiš on the basis of the consent granted by the Chamber of Deputies on Tuesday, April 28. The state of emergency due to the coronavirus epidemic has been ongoing in the Czech Republic since March 12. At the same time, all measures taken by the government due to the state of emergency were automatically extended and have remained in force up to the present.
At the same time, the ministers agreed on partial changes to the emergency measures already in force, as well as on the rules under which another big wave of the liberalization of existing restrictions will take place, which is to start on Monday, May 11.
From Friday, May 1, the government approved exemptions from the obligation to wear face masks in public for people with serious mental illness. Moderators and editors of television and radio programs will not have to wear a face mask if they are alone in the studio, nor will actors and dancers in theaters or during filming or children under the age of seven while in kindergarten or in a children’s group.
The government also approved an exception to the limitation of the number of people for worship in the Cathedral of Saints Vitus, Wenceslaus and Adalbert in Prague on May 5, 2020, which will take place on the occasion of the 75th anniversary of the Prague Uprising. Up to 60 people will be able to attend this church service.
From May 11, the government added, for example, the activities of museums and galleries, cinemas, theaters, circuses and similar establishments to the already approved scenario, provided that they comply with the set limits and restrictions. For these, but also for sports, religious, federal and other public events, as well as for weddings or training sessions of athletes, the number of participants will be limited to one hundred at one time, they will still not be able to use facilities except for toilets and will have to meet a number of hygienic conditions including keeping a distance of at least two meters between people.
The government has also set clear rules for the operation of hairdressing establishments as well as pedicure, massage and other establishments, as well as for large shopping centers, which will also be able to open on May 11. At the same time, the ban on trying on clothing will be lifted on the same date. Trying on clothes will be possible, as in the case of footwear, after prior disinfection of the customer’s hands and after being returned in the event of a complaint or for other reasons, these goods will have to be stored for 24 hours separately from other goods before being offered to customers again.
Primary, secondary and art schools will also be able to partially open from May 11. In addition to the previously announced graduation classes and final years of conservatories and higher vocational schools, individual teaching, for example in language schools and school attendance in schools at children’s homes, educational and diagnostic institutions, children from the ninth grade of primary schools will also be able to go to school. Their participation in the school will be voluntary, in order to prepare for the secondary school entrance exams, and like other students, children will have to make a solemn declaration when they first enter the school that they do not suffer from any symptoms of covid-19. For all types of instruction, including university instruction, there will be a restriction that there must not be more than 15 people in one class or group.
Ministers also decided on minor changes to the rules for crossing borders for commuters from May 1, 2020. For them, a new test for covid-19 will suffice with a negative result every 30 days, not 14 days as before. If they are unable to submit this confirmation, they will have the opportunity to submit it back to the relevant regional hygienic station within 72 hours and, in the event of a negative finding, they will not have to undergo mandatory quarantine.
The government also approved an increase in funds for the salaries of employees of the security forces and the armed forces in the service of the Prison Service of the Czech Republic by 52.9 million crowns. The money will be used for remuneration related to increased work demands during the coronavirus crisis. Among other things, the prison service managed to prevent the infiltration of covid-19 among domestic prisoners by rigorously implementing the measures taken. Another 16.65 million crowns were issued by the government to cover the expenses of the Prison Service for the production of personal protective equipment.
The government also discussed several important legislative proposals. It approved a bill that should abolish the real estate acquisition tax, with a retroactive effect. The tax of 4 percent of the total purchase price will not have to be paid by anyone who acquired the property in December 2019 at the latest, and if they have already paid this tax, it will be refunded. However, the time test for income from the sale of non-residential real estate has been extended from five to ten years.
The government also approved the Budget Strategy of the Public Institutions Sector of the Czech Republic for the period from 2021 to 2023 and the related Convergence Program of the Czech Republic, which will be submitted to the European Commission and the Council of the European Union. The government calculates that state budget expenditures in 2021 will reach 1,792 billion crowns, 1,811 billion crowns in 2022 and 1,825 billion crowns in 2023. The structural balance should thus reach minus 4 percent of the GDP in 2021.
The ministers also approved a bill on certain measures to mitigate the effects of the SARS-CoV-2 epidemic on cultural events, which is intended to help Czech culture. As in the case of travel agencies, cultural event organizers could offer a customer who has already purchased a ticket for an event with an expected date by October 31, 2020, a voucher for a replacement event or the same event held on a replacement date.
The complete results of the government’s negotiations can be found at: https://www.vlada.cz/en/media-centrum/aktualne/government-approves-the-rules-for-relaxing-emergency-measures-from-11-may–state-of-emergency-remains-in-force-until-17-may-181311/