Czech Government to Restrict Free Movement of People for Three Weeks

breaking news prague morning

Prime Minister Andrej Babiš will meet with the opposition tomorrow morning and ask for an extension of the state of emergency.

“The measures we want to apply cannot be implemented without a state of emergency,” Babiš said.

“We must limit people’s mobility as much as possible for three weeks and minimize people-to-people contacts,” he added. “We will introduce a ban on movement between regions with some exceptions, such as travel to work.”

The Czech government plans to close schools and kindergartens, as well.

“We expect that despite the new measures, there will be an increase in the number of hospitalized next week. We are discussing possible assistance with Germany and Poland,” said the Health Minister Jan Blatny.

“Moreover, from March 1, respirators will be mandatory in public transport, and shops. Two surgical masks will not be enough.”
From March 1, the Czech state will compensate the costs of four speed tests per employee or self-employed person per month.

According to the Minister of Industry and Trade Karel Havlíček (ANO), businesses and companies will be able to buy the tests from certified manufacturers.

Havlíček has previously said that the price of one test ranges from 60 to 150 crowns. According to Wednesday’s statement by Prime Minister Andrej Babiš (ANO), the state should contribute 60 crowns per test. Employers will be obliged to report all positively tested workers to hygiene stations.

Almost exactly a year after the first Covid-19 case appeared in the European Union member, “the crisis is worse than ever and the situation requires a tougher response,” Babis added.

The escalating pandemic, back-and-forth easing, and tightening of social-distancing measures, and political infighting are hurting Babis’s popularity eight months before he’ll seek another term in general elections.

Vaccination plan

The government discussed the acceleration of vaccinations, considered the “most important and only solution”, with governors, representatives of general practitioners and the General Health Insurance Company (VZP).

There are 174 vaccination sites in the country, and a further 70 or more will open from the beginning of March. The government intends to vaccinate teachers and continue vaccinating doctors. The country will receive 190,000 vaccines in February, over one million vaccines in March and 2.6 million in April.

“Companies will either start testing more or less daily and employees will be required to wear masks, or they will close,” said another source from the government’s editorial office.

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