23.00: From Monday, April 27, universities will open for all students.
22.10: The Czech government lifted a ban on its citizens traveling abroad for reasons other than work following an improvement in conditions of the coronavirus outbreak.
21.41: The Czech government will cancel restrictions on free movement as of Friday and allow groups of up to 10 people to meet in public as it scales back measures to fight the spread of the new coronavirus, Health Minister Adam Vojtech said on Thursday
21.12: On Friday, the government will ask the Chamber of Deputies to extend the state of emergency until May 25, Hamáček said to ČTK. The state of emergency, set to expire on April 30, gives the government powers to limit people’s movement or close businesses.
20:50: The government did not announce any changes regarding easing the ban on travel abroad apart from business trips and commuting.
The Czech cabinet on Monday approved an amendment to increase the state budget deficit to 300 billion CZK (11.92 billion U.S. dollars), the Ministry of Finance said in a press release.
It’s the second time the Czech government plans to readjust its state budget this year. In March, President Milos Zeman signed into law a budget expansion up to 200 billion CZK (7.95 billion U.S. dollars).
“The crisis situation persists and there is a further fall in income, which is why this amendment is absolutely necessary to save our economy. We have come up with a number of measures to help both employees, entrepreneurs and businesses,” said Finance Minister Alena Schillerova.
The latest amendment to the Act on the State of Budget for 2020 is based on the updated macroeconomic forecast published by the Ministry of Finance, the ministry said.
The newly proposed budget will contain a total of 1.4282 trillion CZK (56.76 billion U.S. dollars) in revenue and 1.7282 trillion in spending (68.68 billion U.S. dollars), leaving a state budget deficit of 300 billion.
The state now predicts further losses of tax revenue and plans to increase benefits and provide debt relief, the ministry said.
Restrictions in the Czech Republic will be lifted on April 20, with the opening of farmers’ markets, craft shops, and bazaars. Wedding celebrations with fewer than 10 people will also be allowed to take place.
From April 27, shops under 200 square meters in size will also be allowed to open.
The government clarified today that also shops over 200 square meters that are not located in large shopping centers will be allowed to open. They can reduce the sales area with safety tape and reach the required size.
From May 25, the outdoor areas of cafes, pubs, and restaurants will be able to open. Services including barbershops, hairdressers, pedicure and manicure facilities, spas and massage parlors, as well as museums, galleries, and zoos, will also be able open from this date.
Czechs will continue to be required to wear masks for the time being, Health Minister Adam Vojtech said. His deputy, Roman Prymula, added that now “a person with the virus infects less than one person on average” and that the epidemic is in decline, Reuters reported.
The plan will be divided into five stages. The first restrictions will be eased on April 20 with craft shops, farmers’ markets, car showrooms, and second-hand stores to be allowed to open, and more shops and events to be added in stages, according to the ministry.
By June 8, large shopping centers could be fully opened again along with events up to 50 people, said Havlicek.
If the infection is under control, then the plan will be enacted according to schedule. “There may be some shifts there, but we’d like to keep it this way,” he said.
Self-employed workers affected by the pandemic will receive in May a one-time payment of CZK 15,000 from the state, PM Andrej Babiš (ANO) said to Pravo.
“The government is also ready for payments in June if necessary,” he added. For the period from March 12 to April 30, the contribution is CZK 25,000.
The payment is available based on individual applications, in which applicants must prove by way of an affidavit that they meet a number of conditions:
- The applicant is self-employed.
- The applicant’s self-employed activity is their main activity (except pensioners, primary carers, and those who are receiving disability or parental benefits).
The government previously approved the firest lump sum of CZK 25,000 on April 2.
Up to June 30th, 2020, you can request this allowance in person at your Tax Office, via e-mail and that even without an electronic signature, via a data box or via the tax portal here.
The applicant must enter the bank account number to which the amount is to be sent. The administration accepts applications via data box, by post, and collection boxes placed in front of tax offices.
Czech Republic‘s Finance Minister Alena Schillerová proposed the government acquire CSA Czech Airlines, however noting complications may arise due to a minority foreign ownership in SmartWings Group.
Schillerová expects the Ministry of Industry and Trade to prepare an analysis of strategic companies affected by the coronavirus outbreak.
As previously reported by CAPA, Smartwings Group implemented austerity measures to mitigate the financial impact of the drop in demand.
In 2018, 97.74% of Czech Airlines was bought by the privately-owned Smartwings and CSA became a part of the Smartwings Group. The remaining 2.26% of CSA is owned by insurance company Česká Pojišťovna.
CSA is the fifth oldest still operating airline in the world, after Dutch KLM (1919), Colombian Avianca (1919), Australian Qantas (1920), and Soviet/Russian Aeroflot (1923). It was the first airline in the world to fly regular jet-only routes (between Prague and Moscow).