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.
The State of Emergency Extended Again
The state of emergency came into effect on October 5 and was originally supposed to be in place until November 3, however, on October 30 it was extended until November 20. Recently, on November 19, it was extended again – this time until December 12 as proposed by KSČM (Czech and Moravian Communist Party). Members of the Czech government argued that this was necessary to make sure coronavirus will not start spreading as rapidly as it did in October. This is because many of the previously introduced countermeasures are tied to the state of emergency and so if it wasn’t prolonged again, they would have to be released as well. This is concerning particularly:
- Ban on free movement;
- Ban on the gatherings of people;
- Ban on mass events;
- Night curfew;
- Restrictions on retail sales;
- Restaurants remaining closed.
The two governmental parties – ANO and ČSSD (Social Democrats) – proposed the state of emergency to be extended by one month, that is up until December 20. This extension was, however, deemed too long. On the other hand, KDU-ČSL (Christian Democrats / People’s Party) and TOP 09 wanted the state of emergency to be prolonged only until December 4, ODS (Civic Democrats) until November 27 and Pirátská strana (The Pirate Party) until November 24.
Some Restrictions Being Released
Despite the state of emergency being extended once again, some restrictions will be released on Monday, November 23 in accordance with the PES system.
This means that, for example:
- Gatherings of up to six people will be allowed;
- Up to 20 people will be allowed attend funerals and weddings;
- The night curfew will be shortened;
- Some classes can return to schools;
- Up to six people will be allowed to exercise outdoors;
- Libraries can operate again, albeit in a specific mode.
Deputy Prime Minister Karel Havlíček (ANO) also promised to propose lifting the ban on Sunday sales. He also wants to allow the presence of more customers in stores or a simpler access to stores for parents with strollers or the disabled.
The Ministry of Health also wants registered partnership ceremonies to be allowed to take place just like regular marriages are.
Let us know and get your residence permit as soon as possible to be safe in the future in case the pandemic indeed returns in full force. Having a residence permit is the best way of making sure you’ll be able to return to the Czech Republic even if the borders are closed again.