The government will consider downgrading the regulation on compulsory face
masks in public to a mere recommendation, Prime Minister Andrej Babiš told
Prima Television on Sunday. Face masks would remain obligatory in closed
public spaces with a high risk of transmission such as public transport.
The debate on when Czechs will be able to stop wearing face masks has gained intensity with the warmer weather.
According to health ministry officials the plans were to lift this restriction in mid-June, but experts have increasingly criticized the order for people to wear masks outdoors.
The prime minister also said the government was not planning to ask the lower house to extend the state of emergency beyond May 17.
The ruling ANO party of Prime Minister Andrej Babišs would currently win
general elections, with 34 percent of the vote, followed by the centre
right Pirate Party with 16 percent and the Civic Democrats with 11.5
percent of the vote.
Five other parties would cross the 5 percent threshold needed to get seats in the lower house; the Freedom and Direct Democracy Party would get 7 percent, TOP 09 would get 6.5 percent, and the Social Democrats, a junior party in the ruling coalition, the Communist Party and the Party of Mayors and Independents would each get 5.5 percent of the vote.
Meteorologists have issued a wind warning for parts of the Czech Republic
on Monday afternoon when they predict strong winds and a twenty-degree drop
The warning, which does not include Prague and the western parts of the country, says there is danger of damage to forests, roofs and gardens.
People have been warned to expect possible power fallouts and complications in transport. Higher altitudes may see up to 10 centimetres of snow.
Several hundred parents have signed a petition for lessons to take place
out in the open whenever possible when schools reopen on May 25th.
Schools have been closed since mid-March and it will be up to parents to decide whether they will send their children to school when they reopen on May 25.
School attendance is not compulsory for the rest of the school year and only some classes will reopen with a maximum of 15 students in the classroom. Ninth graders who face school leaving exams are returning to school on Monday.
The mayor of Sokolov in western Bohemia, Renata Olulehlova, has said she
regrets removing the American flag from a WWII monument and final resting
place of Soviet soldiers who died in the liberation effort during a
commemorative ceremony marking the end of the war.
The mayor, who faced a barrage of criticism from locals and politicians, told Novinky.cz she regretted the decision which had been spurred by the fact that only the remains of Soviet soldiers were buried on the spot. No offense was intended, she said.
Outraged citizens pointed out that it was the US army which had liberated Sokolov and given the Soviet soldiers there a decent burial.
Eighteen new coronavirus cases were registered in the country on Saturday,
bringing the overall number of confirmed cases to 8,095, according to Czech
Health Ministry statistics.
The number of newly registered cases per day has remained under 100 for nine days now. 276 people have died, 4,447 have recovered from the disease. 258 people are currently hospitalized with COVID 19, 46 of them are in serious condition.
On the occasion of the 75th anniversary of the end of World War II, the
Russian Ministry of Defence published declassified documents related to the
so-called Prague Operation.
The fifty pages of documents released are in Russian and relate to events from May 6 to May 11, during which time part of the Red Army, led by Marshal Ivan Konev, launched an operation aimed at liberating the Czechoslovak capital after receiving reports that Praguers "need help in resisting fascist troops." Russian records also mention that during the offensive, the local population enthusiastically welcomed the advancing Red Army.
The documents state that in the days immediately after the end of the war, the Red Army also supplied Praguers with food; the city’s inhabitants were given tons of flour, potatoes and other foodstuffs.
Russia released the documents amidst a diplomatic row over the removal of Marshal Konev’s statue from Prague 6.
In a letter to Russian President Vladimir Putin on the anniversary of the end of the war, President Miloš Zeman praised the heroism of the Red Army and stated that without it, Czechoslovakia would not have become an independent and confident nation.
Czech gratitude to the soldiers who liberated the country have not changed, he wrote. At the same time, he rejected attempts to rewrite history.
The Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs has agreed to enter into bilateral
talks with Czech officials in a bid to clear up a diplomatic row over the
removal of the statue of Marshal Ivan Konev from its site in Prague 6, the
Czech Foreign Ministry reported on Saturday. The talks should focus on the
1993 treaty signed by the two countries, particularly the clause on the
mutual protection of war monuments which Moscow has accused Prague of
The Czech Foreign Ministry has dismissed the accusation saying that the 1993 treaty only commits both sides to a dignified treatment of each other’s monuments and their protection from damage.