The Czech government will on Monday discuss easing restrictions on the
country’s borders for the purposes of work and business, says the
minister of foreign affairs, Tomáš Petříček. Speaking on Czech
Television on Sunday, he said that loosening restrictions for tourists
would require coordination with the whole of the European Union and would
depend on the situation in individual states in connection with Covid-19.
Mr. Petříček said that now there was greater opportunity to test for the coronavirus the Czech Republic’s borders could be opened in such a way that cross-border workers would not need, as they do at present, to go into quarantine after travelling abroad.
However, he said that Poland, for instance, was stricter on its citizens crossing the border to work in the Czech Republic than the Prague government was in this regard.
The minister of finance, Alena Schillerová, says that in view of the
impact of the coronavirus crisis she will propose a budget deficit of CZK
300 billion at a cabinet meeting on Monday. At the end of last month the
Chamber of Deputies voted to increase this year’s budget deficit to CZK
200 billion from the previously planned CZK 40 billion.
Speaking on Czech Television on Sunday, Minister Schillerová said her calculations included CZK 120 billion in spending and CZK 140 billion in lost revenues from social insurance, VAT and income tax.
Blanket testing of the population for Covid-19 should begin in the Czech
Republic on Wednesday, the minister of health, Adam Vojtěch, said on Czech
Radio on Sunday. Tests aimed at establishing the extent of infection among
the country’s inhabitants will be carried out in Prague, South Moravia
and around the towns of Litoměřice and Litovel.
Minister Vojtěch’s deputy, Roman Prymula, said previously that up to 28,000 people would undergo coronavirus testing, which should also help better predict the future development of the epidemic.
The Czech News Agency said the tests would be carried out in a similar manner to opinion polls, taking in people of different age, gender and profession in various parts of the country.
As of Sunday at 1 pm 181 people with Covid-19 had died in the Czech Republic while 6,657 cases had been detected.
The Ministry of Transport plans 172 major transport projects in the next
three years, according to an official document due to be discussed by the
government on Monday. The works will cost around CZK 243 billion with most
of that amount going to road and motorway construction.
According to the Ministry of Transport paper, the financing of the projects is prepared for this year, despite the current crisis. However, things may be more complicated in the coming years.
Sales of small domestic pets had increased by over a quarter year on year
at the start of April, a representative of the pet shop chain PetCenter,
Lenka Harudová, told the Czech News Agency. Many people are buying pets
for senior citizens to help them get through the current general quarantine
imposed to curb the spread of the coronavirus, she said.
Sales of rabbits, guinea pigs and hamsters in particular have shot up. Pet supply shops have been allowed to remain open and the main difference at present is that owners are now buying feed in bulk, so as not to have to visit so often, Ms. Harudová added.
Sunday is the 75th anniversary of Nazi massacres at settlements around
Vizovice in the Zlín Region, Czech Television wrote. Local people had been
sheltering partisans and were betrayed by Gestapo informers. The Nazis shot
or burnt to death 49 people in the Ploština, Prlov and Vařákovy paseky
settlements on April 19, 1945. Only one man survived.
Those responsible for the tragedy, which occurred just weeks before the end of the war, were never punished, Czech Television said.
Prime Minister Andrej Babiš has called on the hygiene authorities to
investigate after the chancellor of President Miloš Zeman, Vratislava
Mynář, said he had held an unauthorised pig killing at his restaurant on
Friday, Blesk reported. Mr. Babiš said mass events were barred and this
appeared to be a breach of Ministry of Health decrees.
Mr. Mynář said it had been necessary to kill the pig and that only six people had attended, adding that those present, including the local mayor, had undergone rapid tests for Covid-19. Deputy Health Minister Roman Prymula told Blesk such tests were not reliable.
Professor Milan Fryščák, an important figure in the Czech community in
New York, has passed away with complications related to Covid-19, the
city’s chapter of the Czechoslovak Academy of Arts and Sciences announced
Professor Fryščák, who left Czechoslovakia for the US in the late 1950s, headed the New York Czechoslovak Academy of Arts and Sciences for several years. He taught at New York University and wrote the book Say it in Czech.
The minister of industry and trade, Karel Havlíček, says he does not
expect the Czech state to take over private companies in a systematic
manner in connection with the coronavirus crisis and its impact on the
economy. The minister said if it did so, it would be in absolutely
exceptional cases, adding that no list of potential companies had been
Both Mr. Havlíček and Prime Minister Andrej Babiš had previously said the state could enter key companies if they got in trouble.
Earlier this week the minister of finance, Alena Schillerová, said that the state should buy Czech Airlines.
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