The minister of health, Adam Vojtěch, says the new form of a national
smart quarantine programme focused on Covid-19 will cost around CZK 200
million this year. The Ministry of Health is due to take over the project
on Monday. The funding will go toward IT and 150 specialised staff deployed
around the country, Mr. Vojtěch said on Czech Television on Sunday.
The minister said that “Smart Quarantine 2.0” would be more robust than the current form of the scheme, which was created quickly in response to the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic in the Czech Republic.
The system will be able to track data on 400 infected persons a day but could be expanded to handle as many as 1,000. Involvement will remain voluntary.
The Czech soccer first division got underway again on Saturday evening with
a game in which Teplice beat Liberec 2:0 at home. That match was an
unplayed round from before the league was forced to halt over the
coronavirus epidemic in early March. The next full round will take place on
Tuesday and Wednesday.
Saturday’s game was played with no fans in the stadium for public health reasons. Teplice livened up the atmosphere with the sound of fans cheering relayed over their stadium’s PA system.
President Miloš Zeman has criticised an article by the Czech foreign
minister, Tomáš Petříček, and two of his predecessors, Lubomír
Zaorálek and Karel Schwarzenberg, in which they condemn Israeli plans to
annex Jewish settlements on the West Bank of the Jordan. In a piece in the
newspaper Právo on Saturday the three said that Israel’s proposal would
contravene international law.
Mr. Zeman said that the article undermined relations between the Czech Republic and Israel.
Prime Minister Andrej Babiš also criticized Mr. Petříček and Mr. Lubomír Zaorálek, who is currently Czech arts minister. Mr. Babiš said it was unacceptable for individual cabinet members to make statements on such an important foreign policy issue.
The Czech Republic is gearing up for Monday’s final stage of a government
plan to ease restrictions imposed to contain the coronavirus pandemic.
Restaurants, cafés and hotels will be able to reopen their entire premises
and events attended by up to 300 people will be permissible.
Many elementary school children will be allowed to return, at parents’ discretion and dependent on schools’ ability to serve smaller groups. In addition face masks will only have to be worn in enclosed spaces and in close proximity to others.
It will also be possible to visit most hospitals and care homes and the country’s castles while chateaus will launch their new season, two months later than usual. Hygiene requirements will be in place at all of the referred to facilities. Country gearing up for Monday’s final stage of roadmap to ease restrictions
The Czech government will on Monday discuss taking legal action at the
European Commission over the freezing of subsidies for the company
Agrofert, which was founded by Prime Minister Andrej Babiš, iRozhlas.cz
reported. The Commission halted a CZK 1.6 billion grant for an Agrofert
project after an audit found Mr. Babiš to be in conflict of interest over
his ownership of the company.
If the cabinet approves the filing of a lawsuit in Brussels it will be submitted by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in line with standard practice.
The minister of the interior and head of the Central Crisis Staff, Jan
Hamáček of the Social Democrats, says it would have been fairer of Prime
Minister Andrej Babiš of ANO to remove Adam Vojtěch as health minister
and retain Roman Prymula. Mr. Prymula, who has been one of the leaders of
the state’s Covid-19 strategy, is stepping down as deputy minister of
In an interview in Saturday’s Právo, Mr. Hamáček said the fact Mr. Prymula was to be made a government commissioner meant ANO were creating a “B government”.
The Social Democrats chairman also said that the coronavirus crisis had strengthened cooperation between him and PM Babiš.
Some 169 cases of Covid-19 have been recorded in connection with an
outbreak at a mine in Karviná in the Moravian Silesian Region. Most of
those infected worked directly in the Darkov mine; the remainder are their
family members or maintenance workers at the facility.
As of Saturday evening, the total number of infections registered in the Czech Republic stands at 8,853. There have been 314 deaths with the coronavirus.
A representative of the Smartwings Group, which owns Czech Airlines, says
its collapse could threaten up to 60,000 jobs. Firm ombudsman Vojtěch
Lažanský said an analysis he had produced also indicated commercial
flying schools in the Czech Republic could be forced out of business if the
indebted company went bust.
Government members have spoken about the possibility of the state buying out Smartwings or providing it with some other form of support. However, opposition politicians and some analysts have criticised the idea, saying it is not a strategic company. Smartwings has around 2,000 employees.
Wearing face masks even in indoor spaces could cease to be obligatory in
the Czech Republic at the end of June, says the minister of health, Adam
Vojtěch. From Monday it will be no longer required to cover one’s nose
and mouth in public unless one is in an enclosed space or in close
proximity to others.
Government epidemiologist Rastislav Maďar said that said that requirements regarding face masks could in future be intensified in particular regions of the country depending on the public health situation.
In mid-March the Czech Republic became one of the first countries in Europe to introduce compulsory face masks in a bid to contain the coronavirus pandemic.