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.
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.
The government announced that the Czech Republic will move back to the highest 5th level of the anti-epidemic PES system from Sunday, December 27. Due to the increased number of infected people by Covid-19, the Minister of Health Jan Blatný decided to announce new measures, that will last until 10 January 2021.
Britain’s top medical officer announced that the UK has identified a new variant of the coronavirus that “can spread more quickly” than prior strains of the virus. Along with the UK, the same mutation of the COVID-19 virus has also been detected in the Netherlands, Denmark, Australia and the Czech Republic.
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.
The Czech Republic will not raise its PES score despite the number of new COVID-19 cases slowly growing again, which would lead to the reintroduction of some countermeasures. The only changes that the Czech Republic will see as a result of the epidemiological situation getting worse, are the restrictions on opening hours of restaurants as well as some other minor measures.
On Thursday, December 3 more of the COVID-19 restrictions will be released in accordance with the PES system as decided by the Czech government on Sunday, November 29. Possibly the biggest changes relate to opening stores and restaurants, though the limit on the number of people at stores remains in place. At the same time, the Minister of Health suggested another extension of the state of emergency.
The Czech government decided to extend the state of emergency up until December 12. The state of emergency was already extended on October 30 until November 20 to continue reducing the rate at which COVID-19 is spreading. At the same time, the government approved releasing some of the previously introduced restrictions.