Daily news summary Daily news summary

02-06-2020

Government identifies “safe” destinations for holiday travel

Czechs will be able to travel to the majority of European states after June 15 without having to produce a negative COVID 19 test upon their return.

The government on Monday unveiled a list of “safe” versus “high-risk” destinations eagerly awaited by travel agencies and holiday makers.

The vast majority of European countries fall into the “safe” destinations category; Italy, Spain or France are considered “medium-risk”, while the UK and Sweden are listed “high-risk” meaning that people who travel there will need to produce a negative COVID 19 test or undergo a 14-day quarantine upon their return.

Foreign visitors from medium and high-risk countries will need to produce a COVID negative test in order to be granted entry to the Czech Republic.

Babiš denies bill on registration of beneficial owners would help him

Prime Minister Andrej Babiš has dismissed suggestions that a new bill on the registration of beneficial owners would benefit him personally by obscuring ties between him and his business empire.

The draft legislation was approved by the government on Monday. Critics say that if it becomes law Mr. Babiš will not be regarded as the owner of the company Agrofert but only as the owner of the trusts into which he placed it before taking office.

A European Union audit found that the prime minister still de facto controlled Agrofert, placing him in conflict of interest.

Mr. Babiš said on Tuesday that it was nonsense to say that the new amendment would benefit him. Junior coalition party the Social Democrats abstained in Monday’s vote.

Further easing of coronavirus restrictions due on June 8

A further loosening of coronavirus restrictions, due to take effect on June 8, will allow public gatherings and events involving up to 500 people.

The government has also moved to ease the regulations governing the number of people in theatres, cinemas and concert halls, scrapping the social distancing requirements that severely limited attendance.

Restrictions limiting the number of visitors in zoos, botanical gardens and outdoor events to 250 people per hectare will also be lifted as of June 8.

ANO want further debate on food self-sufficiency bill

Government leaders ANO will on Wednesday propose that a bill on national self-sufficiency in food production be returned to the second reading, the head of the party’s deputies group, Jaroslav Faltýnek, said on Tuesday. Mr. Faltýnek said there needed to be more debate on the amendment, which would require that up to 85 percent of non-specialised foodstuffs be of Czech origin.

The proposal has been criticised by business groups, who say it would contravene European law and would lead to higher prices and lower quality.

Commissioner Jourová backs Twitter in row with Trump

The Czech Republic’s member of the European Commission, Věra Jourová, has backed Twitter’s content moderation after the social media site added a fact-checking notice to tweets by President Donald Trump. The European Commission vice president for values and transparency told the news site Politico that she supported Twitter’s efforts to develop a transparent moderation policy. Ms. Jourová said it was not a matter of censorship but of flagging verifiably false information that could cause public harm.

Mr. Trump reacted angrily when Twitter attached a fact-checking warning to tweets he posted and hid another that it said glorified violence.

Sports clubs to get coronavirus measures compensation from July

Sports clubs that have suffered financial losses due to government coronavirus measures can obtain subsidies from the special COVID-Sport programme from next month, the head of the National Sport Agency, Milan Hnilička, announced on Tuesday.

Some CZK 1 billion is available to sports organisations under the programme, which was approved by the government on Monday.

Clubs can apply for a grant to cover a maximum of half of their losses sustained due to being forced to close, expenses for cancelled or postponed events or rent they had to pay even when shut.

Czech Darida sets new Bundesliga running record

Czech footballer Vladimír Darida set a new record for distance run in a Bundesliga game for Hertha Berlin at the weekend. The 29-year-old midfielder covered 14.34 kilometres in match against Augsburg, surpassing his own previous 2018 record of 14.16 kilometres. Darida, who has 59 international caps, has been at Hertha since 2015.

Weather forecast

Wednesday should see bright spells and some rain in the Czech Republic, with temperatures of up to 21 degrees Celsius. Similar weather is expected on the following days.

02-06-2020