The Czech government has declared an unprecedented ban on travel in
connection with the coronavirus epidemic.
Czechs and foreign nationals with permanent or long-term residence (90 days) in the Czech Republic will not be allowed to leave the country. Foreigners will not be able to enter the country for the duration of the 30-day state of emergency declared on March 12th.
The ban will not effect cross-border workers, truck and bus drivers, pilots and emergency services employees.
The ban will come into force oat midnight on Sunday.
Czechs abroad will be allowed to return home but those returning from "high-risk" countries will be quarantined for 14 days.
According to the country’s mobile operators there are currently 205,000 Czechs abroad out of which 196,000 are in Europe.
The “high risk” states are: China, South Korea, Iran, Italy, Spain, Austria, Germany, Switzerland, Sweden, Norway, the Netherlands, Belgium, the UK, Denmark and France.
The great Czech athlete Dana Zátopková has died in Prague at the age of
97, a representative of the Dukla sports club told iRozhlas.cz on Friday.
Zátopková won gold in the javelin for Czechoslovakia at the 1952 Olympic
Games in Helsinki and also took silver at the 1960 Olympics in Rome.
She became European javelin champion in 1954 and 1958 and set a new world record at the age of 35, making her the oldest women to break one at an outdoor athletics event.
Dana Zátopková was the widow of the famous runner Emil Zátopek, who himself won three golds at Helsinki.
The Czech prime minister has urged the public to remain calm and stop panic
buying in the face of the coronavirus threat.
Prime Minister Andrej Babiš made the appeal on Twitter following a meeting on Thursday with representatives of the country’s biggest retail stores who assured him they would not run out of stock.
Shoppers took supermarkets by storm after the government declared a state of emergency on Thursday, buying vast amounts of non-perishable food products.
In view of the spread of the coronavirus, Czech e-shops are no longer
taking payments in cash, the ctk news agency reported. Couriers leave the
deliveries outside people’s doors so as to avoid coming into direct
contact with clients.
Kosik, Rohlik, and Tesco have all posted the announcement on their web pages. Rohlik says it is preparing a solution for older clients who are used to paying in cash.
Many primary and secondary schools have started communicating with pupils
online, offering on-line lessons, testing and homework.
Education Minister Robert Plaga has welcomed the initiative in view of the fact that schools are expected to remain closed for at least a month within measures to curb the spread of the coronavirus.
One Prague school has launched a campaign in support of online classes and is sharing ideas and offering advice on how this can best be handled.
Experts say this health crisis will test the schools preparedness for IT communication in education.
The government has dismissed the country’s chief hygiene officer, Eva
Gottvaldová, for failing in her duties.According to Deputy Prime Minister
Jan Hamáček the vote on the decision was unanimous.
There had been speculation surrounding Gottvaldová's possible dismissal since the Chamber of Deputies approved an amendment to the law on public health protection which states that the post must go to a specialist in the field of hygiene.
Gottvaldová, who is a nutrition specialist, is to be temporarily replaced by Jarmila Rážová, head of the Central Bohemian Hygiene Office.
The Czech government has declared a state of emergency in response to the
coronavirus epidemic. Following a five hour government session on Thursday,
Prime Minister Andrej Babiš announced extensive measures to fight the
spread of the virus.
A special regime will be introduced on the country’s borders with Austria and Germany from midnight on Friday. Under those restrictions people will only be able to enter or leave Czech territory via 11 border crossings.
Foreigners from high-risk countries will be banned from entering the country and Czech nationals will be prohibited from travelling to high-risk destinations.
Foreigners will not be able to enter the Czech Republic from Germany and Austria.
The Interior Ministry will stop issuing all visas until further notice.
Czechs abroad will be able to return to the Czech Republic. Those returning from high-risk countries will be automatically quarantined.
Pubs and restaurants will have to close by 8pm. Gyms, swimming pools and other sports facilities, clubs, galleries and libraries will be closed as well as eateries in shopping malls.
In addition the Czech police are now being deployed to check whether people who have been ordered into quarantine are staying indoors. Among the more than 1,200 people quarantined are two Czech senators who recently undertook a working trip to Italy.
The air carriers Smartwings and Czech Airlines have announced that people
flying with them can re-book their flights without any sanctions. The
decision pertains to any flights between March 13 and June 30.
Other airlines have adopted a similarly benevolent approach in view of widespread measures and restrictions in fighting the coronavirus.
In the past few weeks airlines have cancelled hundreds of flights in connection with the coronavirus health emergency.
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