A change in VAT rates on beer which takes effect on May 1, will reduce
value-added tax on draught beer consumed on the pub premises, which has
been moved from the 21-percent to the 10-percent VAT band. According to the
amendment, bottled beer or draft beer sold to-go remains in the 22-percent
The change, which was criticized for being irrational and confusing, is further complicated by the coronavirus restrictions according to which pubs and food stands can sell beer from take-out windows to be consumed at some distance and will be able to open outdoor premises as of May 11th.
The smart quarantine project is to be applied actively nationwide as of May
1st after undergoing a testing period in several regions. It should replace
the broad government imposed restrictions which are being gradually eased.
The plan involves tracing past contacts of people who test positive for the virus five days back by creating “maps of their movements” with the help of banks and mobile phone operators.
All those who they came into contact with will be tested and quarantined until cleared. The plan is being implemented with the help of the army in order to speed up testing.
The president’s chancellor, Vratislav Mynář, has rejected accusations
that the Office of the President is withholding information regarding
pressure to which the late speaker of the Senate Jaroslav Kubera was
subjected in connection with his planned trip to Taiwan.
Mr. Mynář said the matter had been seriously discussed during foreign policy consultations with the president, but dismissed the idea that Mr. Kubera had come under excessive pressure which could have worsened his state of health.
Mr. Kubera’s wife has indicated that the enormous pressure her husband was under, as well as veiled threats believed to have been made by Chinese representatives, led to his early demise due to what is believed to have been a massive heart attack.
Large music festivals which traditionally attract thousands of fans will
not be able to take place until mid-October, Culture Minister Lubomír
Zaorálek said after Thursday’s cabinet session.
The government has proposed an amendment to the law according to which organizers of large cultural events will be able to offer vouchers for future cultural events, instead of reimbursing tickets sold. Cultural events of up to 100 people will be able to take place as of May 11.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov has said the idea of Russia sending
an agent to assassinate Czech politicians is “inconceivable”.
Speaking at a press briefing in Moscow on Thursday, Mr. Lavrov said that if the authorities had information that a given passenger was carrying a deadly poison in his luggage they should have prevented the given individual entering the country.
The Russian foreign minister made the announcement in reference to an article in the weekly Respekt which wrote last week that according to unnamed security sources a Russian agent had allegedly travelled to Prague a few weeks ago with a suitcase containing the highly potent toxin called ricin, possibly to be used against Czech politicians who have angered the Kremlin.
The weekly linked the story to earlier reports that the mayor of Prague Zdeněk Hrib and the mayor of Prague 6 Ondřej Kolář, who ordered the removal of Soviet Marshal Ivan Konev from the district’s premises, had been given police protection.
Minister Lavrov said Moscow was waiting to enter into a dialogue with Prague on the statue’s removal, which they considered a gross violation of the 1993 treaty between the two countries.
The Foreign Affairs Committee of the lower house has criticized the Office
of the President for failing to explain its role in the pressure to which
the late speaker of the Senate Jaroslav Kubera was subjected in connection
with his planned trip to Taiwan.
Mr. Kubera’s wife has indicated that the enormous pressure he was under, as well as veiled threats believed to have been made by Chinese representatives, led to his early demise due to what is believed to have been a massive heart attack.
The Office of the President reportedly handed over to Mr. Kubera a letter from the Chinese ambassador shortly before his death. President Zeman likewise attempted to dissuade Mr. Kubera from making the trip.
Zoltán Bubeník, Surgeon General and chief medical adviser to the North
Atlantic Treaty Alliance, says the countries where the coronavirus epidemic
is on the wane must remain vigilant and stock up on protective gear in
readiness for a possible second wave.
In an interview for the news site Novinky.cz General Bubeník said Europe’s reliance on factories in Asia for protective gear had been a big mistake, which must be corrected.
He also highlighted the importance of vaccine programs, saying that with all likelihood the blanket vaccination against tuberculosis in the Czech Republic had helped protect the public against an uncontrolled spread of the infection.
The parents of children in kindergartens and first level elementary schools
which are due to re-open on May 25, have been asked to decide whether they
will send their children back to school. Those who decide not to do so will
lose the nursing care money being paid out by the state.
In April this amounted to 60 percent of the parent’s salary, as of May 1 it was increased to 80 percent. The only exceptions are for children at risk because of chronic illnesses, children in quarantine or those living in one household with grandparents who are a high risk group.
The Health Ministry is to publish the details in the coming days.
The Czech Republic is likely to have 8,500 COVID 19 positive cases at the
end of May, according to a prediction model unveiled by the Institute for
Health Information and Statistics on Thursday morning.
The model envisages an annual daily increase of around 15 persons in the course of the month.
Since March 1 the Czech Republic has registered 7, 581 confirmed coronavirus cases. 3,120 people have recovered from the disease, 227 people have died. Altogether over 242,000 people have been tested.