Press Advisories

9. 4. 2020 18:47

The government has decided to extend the state of emergency until 30 April, more than a billion crowns of support for cultural institutions

The government has decided to extend the state of emergency until 30 April, more than a billion crowns of support for cultural institutions, 9 April 2020.
The government has decided to extend the state of emergency until 30 April, more than a billion crowns of support for cultural institutions, 9 April 2020.
At an extraordinary meeting on Thursday, 9 April 2020, the government of Andrej Babiš approved an extension of the state of emergency in the Czech Republic until 30 April 2020. Ministers also discussed several changes in the emergency measures already announced and also approved financial assistance to state and non-state cultural institutions. They also decided to strengthen the involvement of the Czech Army in coping with the coronavirus pandemic, with another 2,000 soldiers to help the Czech Police.

The state of emergency in the Czech Republic will continue at least until 30 April 2020. Based on approval from the Chamber of Deputies, this was decided by the government of Andrej Babiš. The state of emergency was declared by the government effective 12 March 14:00 and was due to expire on Saturday 11 April; the government has requested deputies to extend it. The reason is the continuing threat to the health of the population of the Czech Republic as a result of the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus epidemic and the resulting need to declare operationally necessary measures to prevent the spread of Covid-19, to purchase the necessary protective equipment and to ensure security.

As a result of the extension to the state of emergency, the government has also decided to again strengthen the personnel capacities of the Czech Police and members of the Customs Administration using soldiers on active service. Following agreement of the Ministry of the Interior with the Ministry of Defence, approved by Ministers, the Czech Army will release another 2,000 soldiers to assist in border protection and performing other tasks of the Czech Police. In total, 4,096 professional soldiers will now be involved in performing emergency tasks during the state of emergency. More in the Ministry of Defence press release (in Czech language).

At the request of the Minister of Culture, the government also approved financial assistance to cultural institutions and artistswho have lost their livelihoods due to government quarantine measures. The Ministry of Culture will receive from the government budget reserve 770 million crowns to support non-state artistic entities and up to 300 million crowns to mitigate the impact on contributory organisations of the Ministry of Culture, depending on whether the restrictions adopted by the government continue beyond 31 May. From these sources, the Ministry will support, for example, access to art through digital technologies, as well as regional culture and other independent artistic entities. For its own cultural institutions, it will refund the any shortfalls in income, which are estimated at more than 40 million crowns per week. For further information, see the Ministry of Culture press release (in Czech language).

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance Alena Schillerová advised the government of other measures that her ministry is preparing in the tax area. This is a wholesale remission of value added tax and administrative fees for goods or services that are supplied free of charge to health service providers, the basic elements of the integrated rescue system, the Czech Army and to social services facilities. This remission is limited in time to the supply of goods or services where the obligation to declare value added tax arose between 12 March 2020 and the end of the state of emergency.

The Ministry also wants to waive the administrative fee associated with the issue of a certificate of freedom from debt or the status of a personal tax account. The waiver applies to certificates issued on the basis of applications submitted from the date of entry into force of the Minister of Finance's decision until 31 July 2020, and is limited to certificates issued by administrative bodies managed by the Minister of Finance, i.e. in particular by bodies of the Czech Financial Administration and the Czech Customs Administration.

The government noted the release of an emergency measure from the Ministry of Health, extending the already ordered limited operation of offices and institutions until 19 April. As of 20 April all public authorities and administrative authorities  are to comply at their workplaces with stricter operational hygiene rules. The Cabinet also noted a new measure from the Ministry of Health regulating the prisons regime. The Prison Service is ordered to accommodate prisoners so that prisoners are accommodated according to their classification in the workplace, in order to limit the risk of spreading COVID-19.

Hospitals will now have to report changes in the availability of available intensive care places for both COVID-19 patients and other patients and the numbers of doctors and healthcare professionals who have been placed under quarantine. The government also approved changes in the duties imposed on pupils and students of selected years of medical and pharmacy studies. Public health authorities, emergency medical service providers and core hospitals are ordered to make use of these students and regional governors and the Mayor of Prague will play a key role in their deployment.

Ministers also discussed proposals from the Minister of Health for easing some of the measures currently in force. Face masks will now not have to be worn in a car in addition to the driver by family members living in the same household, by public transport drivers in closed cabins, nor need they be worn by persons with serious autism spectrum disorders. In view of the current favourable developments, the Ministry has also lifted the existing ban on doctors and healthcare professionals taking holiday during the state of emergency.

The government has also approved a draft amendment to the Excise Tax Act, which it would like to discuss in Parliament under the state of legislative emergency. By extending the warehousing deadline for individual cigarette packs intended for direct consumption with a an excise sticker corresponding to the rate of duty immediately preceding the new rate of duty, the objective of the draft is to mitigate the effects of events related to the emergence of Covid-19 caused by coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 on those who in connection with the new rate of duty on cigarettes will claim a refund of the value of the excise stickers corresponding to the rate of duty immediately preceding the new rate of duty on an individual cigarette pack intended for direct consumption, and thus ensure a smooth transition to the new rate of duty, even under the difficult operating conditions caused by the current situation. The deadline will be extended by one calendar month.

The government also amended the Regulation on the criteria for determining an element of critical infrastructure. It has now granted the status of an element of critical infrastructure to key manufacturers of medicinal products with a production plant in the Czech Republic.

The government also decided on resumption of the activities of the government National Economic Council and appointed its members. These include respected experts in banking, economic policy and economics, as well as representatives of large companies such as Škoda Auto, ČEZ and Coca-Cola.

Useful information

print article   email   facebook   twitter

Photo gallery

Related items

Photo Gallery