Press Advisories

19. 4. 2021 21:04

The government extended the Antivirus programme, and approved the National Strategy for Countering Hybrid Action

Press conference after a government meeting, 19 April 2021.
Press conference after a government meeting, 19 April 2021.
The targeted programme supporting employment, called Antivirus, will be extended until the end of May based on a decision of Andrej Babiš’s government of Monday, 19 April 2021. The cabinet also discussed the current security situation and approved the National Strategy for Countering Hybrid Action.

All schemes of the Antivirus programme, i.e. Antivirus A, Antivirus B and Antivirus A Plus, will continue for a month longer than planned. The cabinet decided on extending them until 31 May due to the continuing epidemic measures that constrain some sectors of the economy. The Antivirus programme is one of the most widely used support programmes launched by the government to help employers. For further information see the press release of the Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs at (in Czech language).

The government will submit to the Parliament a draft bill amending the Act on Extraordinary Contribution to Employees in Ordered Quarantine, which provides up to CZK 370 a day to persons in ordered quarantine or isolation in addition to the regular sickness insurance premiums. According to the current Act, the benefit should cease to be paid on 30 April but the government agreed on its extension until 30 June. It will ask the House of Deputies to approve the bill in the legislative emergency mode. For more see the press release of the Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs at (in Czech language).

The government approved the National Strategy for Countering Hybrid Action, drawn up jointly by the Ministry of Defence, the Office of the Government, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Ministry of Interior, the intelligence services, the Army of the Czech Republic and the National Cyber and Information Security Agency. The Strategy responds to the deteriorating security situation and hybrid threats that the Czech Republic has to face. It is the first strategic document of the Czech Republic dedicated to this topic and it supplements the existing strategic security documents. It envisages an awareness raising campaign towards the public or a position of the coordinator of the agenda of countering hybrid action, to be established at the Office of the Government. More details are provided in the press release of the Ministry of Defence at (in Czech language).

Based on the recent events, the government decided to exclude the Russian company Rosatom from the tendering procedure on completing the Dukovany nuclear power plant. Rosatom will no longer be included even in the security assessment. The Dukovany completion tender will involve only companies from the USA, France and South Korea.

The cabinet decided to provide a humanitarian donation to Ukraine, which should help the country to combat the COVID-19 epidemic. The Czech Republic, with the assistance of the Fire Rescue Service of the Czech Republic, will deliver to Ukraine 192,000 medical face masks and nearly 130,000 rapid test kits. The goods will be taken from the state reserves. Further information is available in the press release of the Ministry of Interior at (in Czech language).

The ministers approved a proposal for a free provision of antigen tests to test homeless persons. The homeless have not been tested for COVID-19 because they are not included in any of the generally tested groups of population. The government decided to resolve the situation through selected providers of social services to which it will send more than 13,000 test kits from state reserves and from stocks of the Ministry of Interior for self-testing or for use by the lay public, intended for homeless persons.

The government discussed several partial changes to the extraordinary measures of the Ministry of Health. The main changes concern schools. The activity of children’s groups will be permitted from 21 April on in the Karlovy Vary and the Hradec Králové Regions. In the other regions, it will be permitted only for children who reached five years of age by 31 August 2020, or for providing childcare services to parents of selected professions and employers. Also from 21 April, the measure ordering the wearing of breathing protection will be specified so that participants in entrance examinations for secondary schools will be able to use a medical mask or a certified protective equipment instead of a respirator.

On 24 April, across-the-board testing will be launched at higher education institutions, under conditions similar to those in the other segments with generally ordered testing. The tested students will be subsequently, from 26 April, enabled to attend in-person training.  Testing at least once in seven days will be one of the conditions for participating in face-to-face instruction. Exemptions apply to completely vaccinated persons and persons who recovered from COVID-19 in the last 90 days. The testing will be arranged directly by the higher education institution or students can bring their own valid test result, made at an authorised testing place. This duty will not apply to participants in individual consultations or in one-to-one instruction.

From 26 April, secondary school pupils will be able to attend practical training. Students of the last grades of higher education institutions will be allowed to start practical and clinical instruction. From the same date, further children will return to nursery schools in the Karlovy Vary and the Hradec Králové Regions.

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