The Czech lower house of parliament on Thursday rejected the government’s request to extend a state of emergency underpinning pandemic measures beyond February 14.
The Chamber of Deputies rejected the extension of the state of emergency in force in the Czech Republic due to the coronavirus epidemic.
Jan Wintr from the Department of Theory of Law at Charles University believes that several anti-epidemic measures could cease to be in effect on Monday.
Without a state of emergency, the government cannot:
- Impose a curfew, which is currently in effect between 9 pm and 5 am.
- Prohibit sales in shops and the provision of services
- Restrict entry into the Czech Republic to foreigners
- Prohibit entry to sports facilities outside and inside. Due to the measures, the government had to close gyms, fitness centers, courts, ice rinks, swimming pools, wellness facilities including saunas, dance studios, and bowling alleys.
- Prohibit drinking alcohol in public places
- Prohibit meeting people from different households
Which current measures could continue to apply:
- Visiting restaurants, pubs, and bars, providing accommodation services.
- Conferences, theater, and movie performances with the participation of spectators.
- Impossibility to organize pilgrimages, congresses, educational events, fairs.
- Participate in teaching at universities, high schools, and primary schools.
Which laws to combat a pandemic can be used outside of an emergency:
- Restrictions on travel from certain areas and restrictions on traffic between certain areas
- Prohibition or restriction of festivities, theater and movie performances, sports and markets
- Closure of social services facilities, schools
- Closure of accommodation facilities and restaurants or restrict their operation
Government officials warn that a collapse of the country’s healthcare system is possible. Some regional governors have announced that they will declare a state of danger in their respective regions.
The opposition maintains that some of the key measures can be enforced outside of a state of emergency.