The Czech Chamber of Deputies has extended the state of emergency by three weeks, that is until February 14. The government’s original proposal was to extend the state of emergency by one month exactly, which was, however, rejected. The Chamber of Deputies’ meeting was also disrupted by an incident caused by one of the MPs.
After six years of consideration, the Czech Ministry of Education has decided to make Czech language exams more difficult for expats interested in getting a permanent residence permit. This means that instead of passing a level A1 language exam expats will have to prove their knowledge of the Czech language at level A2.
The Czech Ministry of the Interior’s proposal for mandatory integration courses for expats living in the Czech Republic was finally approved after a few months-long silence. The courses started taking place on January 1 as originally planned and are mandatory for some non-EU expats who have received or will receive a residence permit in the Czech Republic after January 1, 2021.
During the Christmas holidays, the Czech Republic returned to level 5 of the so-called PES system. Since level 5 is the highest level, the strictest countermeasures possible system are currently in effect. These restrictions apply mostly to stores, some services, freedom of movement, or studying, for example. They should supposedly remain in place until January 10 but there is a chance their validity will be further extended.
Christmas wouldn’t be Christmas without carols. While many people prefer modern Christmas songs, it’s usually the traditional carols people prefer to sing. After all, they are usually much less difficult to sing as they – at least in most cases – don’t require large vocal range and good singing skills. Not everybody can, for example, manage to sing the main song from Tři oříšky pro Popelku. So it is no wonder that the carol Veselé vánoční hody is one of the most popular ones in the Czech Republic.
If someone told you that there is a famous poem about Christmas Eve you’d probably think that it must be some warm story about a beautiful snowy Christmas. If that’s the case then I have to disappoint you. The poem “Christmas Eve” (“Štědrý den” in Czech) was written by K. J. Erben, and it’s a dark tale about foretelling the future on Christmas eve. But don’t worry, the actual tradition is much less gloomy.
On Friday, December 18, the Czech Republic will once again return to level 4 of the PES system, which means that restrictions will be tightened. This was decided by the House of Commons on December 14; shortly after the restrictions were initially released. Despite that, stores will remain open. Some politicians and experts are worried that Czechs will actually have to spend this Christmas on level 5 of the PES system.
The Czech House of Commons approved another extension of the state of emergency – this time until December 23. Besides that, drinking outdoors is prohibited as the government wants to stop crowds of people consuming food and beverages from gathering at Christmas markets and on streets. This, however, doesn’t affect only stalls at the markets but also dispensing windows.