Movement Restrictions May be Extended Until April 1st

Prime Minister Andrej Babis said the restrictions on movement may be extended until April 1st if the Covid-19 situation does not improve as the country went into a two-week movement restriction period on March 13th.

The government will discuss on Monday the introduction of a Kurzarbeit program – a short-time working arrangement in which civilian employees agree to or are forced to accept a reduction in working time and pay, usually introduced in times of recession.

Kurzarbeit (roughly translated, “short-time work”) is a German government program first used during the 2008 financial crisis that pays roughly two-thirds of an employee’s salary to a company that would otherwise be forced to resort to layoffs in the face of an economic downturn.

By providing for staff to remain on the job (even at reduced hours and salary) Kurzarbeit benefits both employers and employees. Workers maintain a steady stream of income, while companies avoid losing the skills these workers have acquired and which are likely to be needed once an economic upturn arrives.

The Czech Republic’s tough measures to slow the spread of coronavirus may be relaxed somewhat in three weeks, but the country’s borders are likely to stay shut to most travel for months, the head of the country’s crisis committee said on Sunday.

Schools will be closed at least until the end of May, and borders may be shut for tourist travel for many months, or even a year or two depending on circumstances, added Prymula.

The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in the Czech Republic reached 1120 on Sunday, after an increase of 158 cases on Saturday.

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