Press Advisories

25. 11. 2021 19:01

The Government Decides to Proclaim a State of Emergency for 30 days, Limit Mass Events, Restaurants Operation or Alcohol Consumption in Public

Press conference after the extraordinary meeting of the government, 25 November 2021.
Press conference after the extraordinary meeting of the government, 25 November 2021.
On Thursday, 25 November 2021, the resigned Andrej Babiš’s Government decided at a meeting to proclaim a state of emergency in the Czech Republic from 12:00 am on 26 November 2021 for 30 days. At the same time, it approved crisis measures, which tightened the conditions for the operation of certain services and for holding mass events. It also decided to declare a work duty for health professionals.

In accordance with Articles 5 and 6 of the Constitutional Act No. 110/1998 Coll., on the Security of the Czech Republic, the Government decided to proclaim a state of emergency for the territory of the Czech Republic (in Czech language) due to a health threat in connection with the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus until 25 December 11:59 pm. “We have already delivered this decision to the Parliament, so at the moment the Chamber of Deputies already has it,” stated the resigned Prime Minister Andrej Babiš.

According to the Prime Minister, the proclamation of a state of emergency was necessary in view of the current critical epidemic situation (in Czech language). “In our opinion, the conditions for proclaiming a state of emergency pursuant to Article 5 of the Constitutional Act on the Security of the Czech Republic have been met; the Czech Republic is in a state of another threat, which significantly threatens lives, health or other material values or domestic order and safety,” stated PM Babiš.

He again called on fellow citizens not to believe in disinformation about the harmfulness of allegedly experimental vaccines. “It’s not true. All vaccines we use in the Czech Republic are approved by the European Medicines Agency,” emphasised Prime Minister Babiš. “Vaccination is the only solution to the covid-19 pandemic,” he noted.

Based on the proclaimed state of emergency, members of the Government may, with the prior consent of the Government, declare individual crisis measures and critical infrastructure entities may identify critical employees whose presence in the workplace is necessary to ensure the relevant critical infrastructure element to be subject to prohibitions and obligations. The first two crisis measures were immediately approved by the Government.

The first measure concerns restrictions on retail trade and services (in Czech language). It will apply from 6:00 pm on Friday, 26 November and the Ministry of Health will largely transfer to it the rules that have hitherto applied in the form of a protective measure. However, there is a tightening for catering establishments, bars, discos, casinos, etc., which will have to be newly closed between 10:00 pm and 04:59 am. The operation of Christmas markets will be prohibited, with the exception of the sale of Christmas trees and carp and in shopping centres it will not be possible to eat directly in food courts. Customers will need to take their food away. With the exception of the interiors of catering establishments, the consumption of alcohol in public will also be prohibited.

With the exception of funerals, the maximum number of people allowed at leisure, cultural, sports, educational and other similar events will also be limited. For leisure activities for children and adults, such as various club, sports, cultural, dance, traditional and similar events and celebrations, the maximum number of participants is reduced from one thousand to 100 people. For visits to cultural performances, sports matches, etc., it will be possible to let a maximum of 1,000 spectators enter the auditorium, exclusively for sitting.

By the second crisis measure, the Government ordered the work duty of doctors and healthcare professionals (in Czech language) who practice a non-medical healthcare profession as outpatient specialists, day care or inpatient care physicians in facilities that do not care for patients with covid-19 from 12:00 am on 26 November 2021. The obligation does not apply to doctors and paramedics in the field of general practice medicine, general practice for children and adolescents and gynaecology and obstetrics and their employees and healthcare professionals in special inpatient hospice-type medical facilities.

The Government has also decided that the State Material Reserves Administration can provide personal protective equipment, medical devices and disinfection from administrative stocks to administrative bodies, local authorities, members of the integrated rescue system and deployed Czech Army forces involved in dealing with the effects of the covid-19 pandemic, and borrow other necessary emergency and humanitarian supplies for the duration of the state of emergency. At the same time, it instructed the Chairman of ASMR (Administration of State Material Reserves) to continuously repurchase the consumed goods in stock.

As part of the current agenda, the Government discussed and approved several legislative proposals. It will send the Chamber of Deputies draft amendments to the Acts on Roads, on the Conditions of Operation of Vehicles on Roads and on Liability Insurance, draft amendment of Act on Maritime Navigation, draft amendment of the Veterinary Act, Act on Pharmaceuticals and Act on Substances That Deplete the Ozone Layer and on Fluorinated Greenhouse Gases. These are mostly amendments reflecting changes in European regulations and those that have already been approved by the Government, but the previous Chamber of Deputies did not have time to discuss them.

The Government has also decided to increase financial contributions to forest management and selected gamekeeping activities. The amendment to the Government regulation increases, for example, the rates of existing financial contributions to ecological and nature-friendly forest management technologies, the rates of some existing financial contributions for the restoration, provision and growing of forest stands up to 40 years of age or the rates of some existing financial contributions for forest protection.

The Government regulation on the implementation of certain provisions of the Investment Incentives Act is also amended, which changes the conditions for the approval of submitted applications so as to better reflect the needs and objectives of the Innovation Strategy of the Czech Republic 2019–2030. Applicants whose business will include active research and development activities corresponding to the smart specialisation of the Czech Republic will be able to obtain an investment incentive in the form of a financial contribution of up to 10% of eligible costs or up to 20% if the investment is implemented in the Karlovy Vary, Ústí nad Labem or Moravian-Silesian region. The minimum limits for strategic investment in production have also changed. Instead of the requirement for an investment of at least 500 million crowns and the creation of at least 500 new jobs, the requirement for the creation of at least 250 jobs will apply, but for an investment of at least two billion crowns.

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