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Coronavirus: testing no longer limited to people returning from high-risk areas

The number of confirmed cases of the new coronavirus in the Czech Republic has risen to twelve, deputy health Minister Roman Prymula announced at a press conference on Thursday. Several dozen people are awaiting the results of tests for the virus.

All the patients registered positive contracted the virus abroad and suffer from a mild form of the disease. Mr Prymula also said testing for the virus will no longer be limited only to people returning from high risk areas, adding anyone can get tested as long as a doctor or a hygienist agrees.

Ban on flights to Northern Italy and South Korea goes into effect

A government ban on flight connections from Czech Republic to Northern Italy and South Korea, in view of these regions being heavily affected by the coronavirus known as COVID-19, has gone into effect this Thursday.

The ban concernes around 50 flights made to the regions every week, including popular destinations such as Venice and Bologna. A ban on flights to China has been in effect for some time already.

GRECO: Czechia’s compliance record “globally unsatisfactory”

According to the Council of Europe’s anti-corruption body GRECO (Group of States against Corruption), the Czech Republic’s compliance with the agency’s recommendations is considered “globally unsatisfactory” and maintains a very slow pace.

In its latest compliance report on the Czech Republic, GRECO says that only one of the 14 measures contained in the Fourth Round Evaluation Report, which concerned the code of professional conduct for all public prosecutors, has been dealt with satisfactorily. Seven measures have been implemented only to some degree and six have not been implemented at all. GRECO has called on the Czech authorities to provide a report on the progress made in implementing the given recommendations by the end of 2020 at the latest.

Czech humanitarian aid supplies to Greece to be transported by firefighters on Friday

Czech humanitarian aid supplies to Greece, including electric generators, pumps and tents, will be transported from the Czech Republic on Friday by firefighters from the national centre for co-ordinating humanitarian aid in the West Bohemian town of Zbiroh, a spokeswoman for the Czech fire corps said on Thursday.

The government on Wednesday agreed to send humanitarian aid to Greece in order to prevent a re-run of the migration crisis of 2015. Interior Minister Jan Hamáček also offered a lump sum of EUR one million in immediate financial aid to Greece and 20 policemen who could serve as part of the Frontex European Border and Coast Guard Agency.

Greece is currently dealing with a new wave of thousands of migrants released by Turkey in a move that has been condemned by the Czech Chamber of Deputies as breaking the 2016 EU-Turkey agreement where Turkey promised to stop migrants moving through their country into Europe in Exchange for financial help.

Renovation of Karlštejn castle gets underway

Renovation of the Czech Republic’s famous Karlštejn Castle got underway on Thursday. The renovation works, expected to cost more than CZK 150 million, were officially launched by Prime Minister Andrej Babiš and Minister of Culture Lubomír Zaorálek.

Among the places to be reconstructed are the Imperial Palace and the Burgrave House. The renovation will also include the creation of a modern visitor’s centre. The castle will remain open during the reconstruction work although some areas might be temporarily closed off to visitors.

The Gothic castle was founded by the Bohemian King and Holy Roman Emperor Charles IV in 1348 as a treasury for the Bohemian crown jewels. It is one of the most visited sites outside the capital.

Olga Tokarczuk cancels her appearance at Book World Prague

Nobel-prize winner Olga Tokarczuk has cancelled her attendance at this year’s Book World Prague, the 26th instalment of the International Book Fair and Literary Festival, due to take place in the Czech capital between May 14 and 17.

The Polish writer has called off all her public appearances until the end of this summer due to a heavy workload. The organizers on Thursday announced a new guest, Polish fantasy writer Andrzej Sapkowski, who is best known for his book series The Witcher.

The delegation representing Poland, which is the guest of honour at this year’s Book World Prague, also includes Mariusz Szczygieł, winner of Poland’s most prestigious literary award, and several other authors.


Friday will be overcast to cloudy with occasional rain showers. Daytime highs are expected to range between 6 and 10 degrees Celsius.