In response to the South African mutation of COVID-19 being detected in the Czech Republic earlier this week the Czech government is planning to introduce several countermeasures or a stricter curfew. These new restrictions mostly concern freedom of movement. While it is not yet clear whether the Chamber of Deputies approves them in the first place, they should supposedly come into effect on Monday, March 1.
The Czech government introduced some new changes regarding the planned respiratory protection. Originally, the new measure ordering people to wear either two face masks or one respirator was supposed to come into effect at midnight between February 22 and February 23. However, after the government’s Monday meeting it will come into place on Thursday, February 25.
The Czech government decided to further tighten the mandatory wearing of face masks due to the highly contagious British mutation of COVID-19. This means that in some places, people will be obliged to wear either one respirator or two face masks. The new measure comes into effect on Monday, February 22.
On February 14, the Czech government instituted a new state of emergency that will be in place for two weeks, that is until the end of February. This happened the same day the previous state of emergency expired after the proposal for its extension was rejected by the Chamber of Deputies on Thursday, February 11. The new state of emergency was introduced after a long debate with regional governors, who eventually asked for a new state of emergency to be put into effect.
The Chamber of Deputies rejected the proposal for another extension of the state of emergency, which means that the state of emergency will expire on February 14. According to opposition parties, the government has failed to establish any sensible solutions to stop the pandemic, including a law on the basis of which the measures would be introduced without the state of emergency. Now the government has to decide how to proceed after the state of emergency ends.
The Czech coronavirus travel map, also known as Coronavirus Traffic Light System, will see some major changes as of Friday, February 5. The most noticeable of these changes is a completely new category of countries being added. This was announced on Monday, February 1, only a few days after conditions for travelling into the country were tightened due to the more contagious British mutation of COVID-19.
All travels to the Czech Republic for non-essential purposes are now banned as decided by the government on Thursday, January 28. Without an essential purpose, foreigners won’t be, therefore, allowed to arrive in Czechia. This measure was announced on Friday and came into effect already on Saturday, January 30, 12:00 AM. It will remain in place until stated otherwise along with the other countermeasures which are now in effect.
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.