Christmas Market Vendors to Receive Higher Compensation

Christmas Market Vendors Compensation

Sellers and operators of the canceled Christmas markets will receive higher compensation, said Minister of Industry and Trade Karel Havlíček (ANO) via Twitter.

Compensation should range from 30 to almost 100 percent, the minister said on Czech Television. 

According to Havlíček, the agreement with representatives of the trade unions is scheduled for Sunday. The resigned government ordered the closure of Advent markets on Friday at 6 p.m. as a measure against the spread of coronavirus.

“Operators of Christmas stalls and Advent markets will achieve higher compensation. We are already preparing their parameters with the representatives of the trade unions, we want to have a final agreement on Sunday evening, we will publish on Monday,” Havlíček wrote on Twitter.

According to him, every limited or closed establishment will receive support.

Compensation is likely to follow three levels of revenue shortfalls: 30 to 50 percent, 50 to 100 percent and complete closure, the minister said on Czech Television.

“Of course, for those who have to close, the compensation will be maximum, that is, it will be close to one hundred percent,” he said. According to Havlíček, the final meeting with business representatives is scheduled for 6 p.m. on Sunday.

The sale of Christmas trees or carp is an exception to the closure of outdoor Christmas or Advent markets. Farmers’ markets also remain opened, but it is not possible to consume alcohol or food there.

Due to the growing epidemic, the government introduced a ban on the operation of restaurants, bars and clubs between 10 p.m. and 5 a.m. on Friday, and a maximum of 1,000 people can go to cultural, sports or educational events.

Keeping rules

The rule of keeping farmers’ markets, which are occasionally held in the same locations as Christmas markets, garnered criticism. The government announced the new restriction on Thursday, with notable critics including the mayor of Prague Zdeněk Hřib (Pirates).

The town of Most replaced the organization of Christmas markets with winter farmers’ markets.

On Saturday, Havlíček stated on Czech Television that Bavaria or Slovakia also closed Christmas markets due to coronavirus.

The resigned Minister of Health Adam Vojtěch (ANO) wrote on Twitter that a large number of people are meeting at the Christmas markets and that experts recommend restricting contact to prevent the spread of infection.

“We have banned food consumption in shopping malls, so people have respirators all the time. Dealers provide disinfection, monitor spacing. It is uncontrollable in the market. People in close proximity consume, drink and meet large groups of people here,” Vojtěch said on Twitter, alleging that markets remained in operation.

However, the measure was criticized by one molecular biologist, Marián Hajdúch. “I don’t know about the scientific reason for closing exterior sales. Rather, it is a concern that it would be cheated to comply with the measures. On the contrary, the risk of infection outdoors is significantly lower than indoors. Outdoor markets could run without food consumption, but with compliance monitoring,” he wrote on Twitter.

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