The government has reached an agreement on new pandemic law. The Minister of Health now has the power to order lockdown measures (with the exception of restricting freedom of movement) without the State of Emergency.
It’s a step to end a political crisis that started last week after the lower house refused the minority government’s request to extend the state of emergency, a powerful tool that gives the Cabinet the extra powers needed to impose nationwide restrictions and limit people’s rights.
In defiance, the government re-declared the state of emergency at the request of the leaders of all 14 Czech regions, who said they do have not enough powers to fight the pandemic.
The Minister of Health praises the new law. “I consider this solution essential for an effective fight against the current epidemic,” said Blatný.
“The purpose of the proposal is to provide adequate tools for managing the epidemic, even in the post-emergency period. The current legal regulation in the Act on the Protection of Public Health appears to be insufficient,” added the Minister of Health.
“The agreement is a big step towards moving from the endless prolongation of the state of emergency towards a more normal life,” said the head of Pirate deputies, Jakub Michálek.
The opposition parties insisted that the new legislation include compensations for those hit by the Covid situation.
“The entrepreneur needs to prove the damage suffered, all the compensations paid will be deducted and the Ministry of Finance will decide within a year,” ODS chief Zbyněk Stanjura said before the meeting of the Chamber of Deputies.
Without the state of emergency, some key restrictive measures would have to be cancelled at a time the country has been facing a surge of a fast-spreading coronavirus variant first found in Britain.