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.
Czech health unions have warned that a coronavirus epidemic will worsen the
personnel crisis in many hospitals which were suffering from a lack of
doctors and nurses even before the ongoing health emergency broke out.
Doctors and nurses unions have pointed to a lack or shortage of respirators in many facilities and say that quarantine measures as well as the closure of schools will result in a further cutback in staff. Hospitals say that ideally every patient entering a medical facility should be handed a facemask in order to protect staff and other patients.
The health minister said in response to the call that 200,000 respirators would be available on Friday and tens of thousands more every coming week.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs has advised Czech nationals currently
visiting the United States to consider returning home as soon as possible
in view of the US administration’s decision to ban EU nationals from
entering the country for a period of 30 days.
The decision was announced on Thursday morning CET in connection with the coronavirus pandemic. The ministry advised Czech nationals to check their flight bookings since some flights to Europe could be restricted or cancelled.
The Czech Republic’s top constitutional officials have released a joint statement rejecting pressure from China and condemning threats of retaliatory measures. The statement issues after a meeting on Wednesday evening came in response to a letter from Prague’s Chinese Embassy warning of consequences if the then speaker of the Czech Senate went ahead with a planned trip to Taiwan. Current Senate speaker Miloš Vystrčil said the top officials did not have uniform views on China and had to take a show of hands on the final wording of the statement. Having previously said he was in favour of the removal of the Chinese ambassador to Prague, Mr. Vystrčil said he had been voted down at Wednesday’s meeting.