Press Advisories

26. 10. 2020 22:53

Government extends Antivirus B programme for aiding employers through to the end of the year, also announces further crisis measures

At a press conference, the government announced new measures against coronavirus, 26 October 2020.
At a press conference, the government announced new measures against coronavirus, 26 October 2020.
Starting Wednesday 28 October, a night-time curfew will go into effect in the Czech Republic aside from strictly designated exemptions. Sunday shopping will be prohibited with certain exceptions and shops will have to close at 8 pm every day. The Andrej Babiš government announced these and other tightened restrictions following a meeting on Monday 26 October 2020.

Due to the ongoing unfavourable trend in number of COVID-19 cases (in Czech language), the government has adopted another set of crisis measures. From 9 pm until five in the morning, people will only be allowed out into the streets if they are going to work or running a business, or if they perform their work there. Otherwise it is only allowed in urgent cases, for example to protect health, property or life, or to walk one's dog, in which case however people are only allowed to do so within 500 metres of their place of residence. From five o'clock all the existing restrictions remain in place. The government also ordered employers to make use of remote work if the nature of their employees' work allows them to work from home.

The government also made adjustments in the case of the prohibition of retail sales and services. Starting Wednesday it has banned the sale of furniture, carpets and floor coverings, the operation of betting offices, and has restricted retail at open-air markets, market halls and mobile premises so that only selected types of food can be sold there, which may not be consumed on-site. All shops aside from petrol stations, pharmacies, shops at airports, train stations and hospitals, and catering operations must be closed on Sunday, and on weekdays from 8 pm to 5 am. The new restrictions also affect the operation of spas, which will only be allowed to care for patients whose treatment is at least partially covered by public health insurance.

Starting Wednesday, the Ministry of Health has ordered providers of inpatient medical services to report new positive cases of patients with COVID-19, new patients in serious condition and all worsened conditions of already hospitalised patients with COVID-19 through the Infectious Disease Information System as quickly as possible, at the latest by midnight for the day in question. From Wednesday providers of medical services have the obligation to stop admitting new patients for planned procedures and continually increase capacity for acute inpatient care, including intensive care capacity, designated for patients with COVID-19. As soon as patients' medical condition allows, hospitals are obliged to transfer them as quickly as possible to follow-up care facilities or home care.

The government also approved an extension of the Antivirus B aid programme through to the end of the year, i.e. until 31 December 2020. Antivirus B can be drawn on by companies that have had to put their employees on "obstacle at work" leave, whether because the number of employees has fallen below tolerable levels due to quarantine and taking care of children, or because the company had to cease operations due to lack of availability of raw materials or other inputs, or due to limited demand for goods or services caused by the coronavirus pandemic. You can find more information in the press release from the Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs (in Czech language).

Entrepreneurs and companies in crisis will also be helped by further expansion of the liberation package, announce by Deputy PM and Finance Minister Alena Schillerová. The government charged her with preparing another decision on mass waiving of tax-related interest and fines and tax advances. Specifically this means mass waiving of interest on overdue value added tax payable for October to December 2020 if the tax is paid by the end of 2020, advances on income tax for natural and legal persons payable from 15 October 2020 to 15 December 2020, and road tax advances payable 15 April 2020, 15 July 2020, 15 October 2020 and 15 December 2020.

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