Czech lawmakers on Tuesday approved extending a state of emergency until April 30, a shorter period than what the government had wanted for using the extraordinary legal framework to further tackle the coronavirus outbreak.
Prime Minister Andrej Babis’s government had sought a one-month extension to May 11 for the state of emergency, which allows the cabinet to curb some rights of citizens, including freedom of movement or enterprise, and gives it more flexibility in areas such as public procurement.
The news was announced at a press conference following a meeting of the Czech Government this afternoon.
During the debate, the government faced criticism from the opposition as well as demands for a clear plan of return to normal life in the Czech Republic.
The state of emergency allows the government to adopt measures to slow the spread of the new coronavirus, such as limitations on free movement inside the country and across borders, shop and restaurant closures, and streamlined procurement of medical supplies.
On March 30, the Czech government extended the quarantine regulations that include a limitation on free movement and mandatory closure of most shops and restaurants until April 11.
From March 31, a mandatory 14-day quarantine is now compulsory for everyone (Czech citizens/EU nationals/other foreigners) returning from abroad.