With Easter around the corner and a glorious bout of spring weather belying the gravity of the coronavirus crisis, the government has moved to ease restrictions at least in some small measure which would allow people to get a breath of fresh air and enjoy the spring holidays. However masses and caroling are strictly banned.
Czech and Moravian bishops have called on believers to mark the Easter
Vigil this year by lighting a candle in their windows after dark. They have
also appealed for believers to respect the government restrictions on
movement and watch the Holy Mass online.
The restrictions will also affect the pagan traditions that millions of people observe on Easter Monday. The Central Crisis Staff has asked people to celebrate Easter at home and refrain from carolling, visiting relatives and other community activities which could increase the spread of the coronavirus.
Czechs have donated millions of crowns through crowdfunding schemes aimed
at raising money for purchasing medical equipment such as ventilators and
facemasks, or to support the hardest hit small time entrepreneurs, who have
lost their income due to quarantine measures aimed at stopping the spread
of COVID-19, news site iDnes.cz reports.
For example, some CZK 14 million were raised to buy 500 ventilators for Czech hospitals on the website Donio. A further CZK 3 million were raised to buy high energy foodstuffs for health care staff.
Supermarkets with a capacity larger than 200 square meters could open to
the public during the Easter period, the spokesman of the Czech Trade
Inspection Authority Jiří Frölich told news site Lidovky.cz on Friday.
The loosening of the statewide quarantine measures would only be allowed for supermarkets selling foodstuffs.
Around 100 Czech tourists returned back home o from the quarantined Tyrol
region in Austria on Friday morning. Their return trip was organised by the
Ministry of Foreign Affairs, which sent a special convoy composed of a bus
and several cars, the Czech News Agency reports.
The Czechs, most of whom seem to have been on skiing holidays, were stranded in and around Ischgl und Sankt Anton, areas which have been quarantined and deemed high risk during the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. More Czechs are expected to return from the region later in the day. Further repatriation flights from Sri Lanka, New Zealand and Australia will take place within the next two weeks.
Nearly 4,500 Czechs have been repatriated through Foreign Ministry organised transports since the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic. According to Foreign Minister Tomáš Petříček there are still some 2,500 Czech citizens abroad who are asking to be repatriated.
The region of Eastern Bohemia has for centuries been celebrated for its fine textiles and traditional lacework. Last week, the Ministry of Culture added a specific type of Czech lace to the intangible cultural heritage list, a step towards such recognition by UNESCO. Meanwhile, an exquisite example of lacework – a lady’s cape comprised of 21 metres of lace – has just been restored ahead of the 750th anniversary of the town in which it was discovered.
Prague police have detained a 38-year-old man suspected of raping and
robbing a 56-year-tourist on Christmas Day.
The man had approached the woman in the Palmovka district early on December 25 with an offer to help her find the bus to her hotel. When crossing through a park, he forced her at knifepoint to perform oral sex.
Police had circulated a CCTV image of the suspect, who was apprehended in Prague 8 thanks to an anonymous caller. They say he has previously been convicted of a violent crime.
The Ministry of Culture has added Vamberk bobbin lace and Uherské
Hradiště region feasts on its intangible cultural heritage list – a
step towards possible inclusion on UNESCO’s intangible cultural heritage
Vamberk has been known for its exquisite lace production since the 17th century. The first school of bobbin lace opened there in 1899.
The Uherské Hradiště region and Slovácko Museum have been looking to have village feasts tied to Christian holidays and seasonal events included on the Czech list for years.
Economist Tomáš Sedláček: A positive look at the coronavirus crisis
Country’s leading epidemiologist makes U-turn on strategy of herd immunity
Fall in coronavirus reproduction number shows efficacy of strict measures
How is coronavirus affecting Prague’s real estate market?
Prague’s public transport vehicles get anti-viral coating