Press Advisories

16. 3. 20202:26

Due to the spread of the coronavirus epidemic, the government has restricted the free movement of people to the essential minimum

At an extraordinary meeting of the government on Sunday, 15 March 2020, the government of Andrej Babiš decided, as part of its precautionary steps, to take additional emergency measures against the spread of SARS CoV-2. From midnight on 16 March until March 24, 6:00, it has declared restrictions on the free movement of people with certain defined and necessary exceptions. It also extended the reintroduction of border surveillance.

“We have evaluated the development of the situation with the spread of the coronavirus and have adopted fifteen resolutions at today's session of the government. These resolutions are intended to restrict the free movement of people and to prevent the spread of the coronavirus to other people," Prime Minister Andrej Babiš said following the meeting.

As of 16 March 0:00 restrictions on the free movement of people are in place throughout the Czech Republic. You will only be able to leave your home in precisely specified cases, for example for a trip to one’s work or business, for essential trips to family and loved ones, shopping trips to purchase food and essential supplies, medicines or pet supplies, visits to the doctor or to deal with urgent official matters or to the post office. The service rounds of police officers, doctors or social workers are of course also allowed, as are individual walks in parks or in the countryside.

At the same time, the government has ordered people to restrict their stay in publicly accessible places to the time needed, and to limit their contact with other people to the essential minimum. The government has called on employers to make maximum use of home-based work for their employees, to accommodate to the maximum extent any holiday or paid-leave requests and to limit any work that is not essential to maintaining the employer's business activity.

When in contact with others, people should maintain a safe distance of at least two metres. The government also recommends making maximum use of cashless payments and paying increased attention to hygiene measures.

The government has also approved the option of deploying Czech Army soldiers and Customs Officers in this crisis and has extended the emergency measure on the temporary reintroduction of border controls in the Czech Republic until 4 April 2020 at 23:59. Border controls relate to the land border with Germany and Austria and the air border, while the borders with Poland and Slovakia are being protected by both of these countries at their own initiative.

It has also clarified the emergency measure banning retail sales and the sale of services in business premises; this now does not relate to auto repair workshops of up to 30 people, towing services, spare parts sellers, mail order services, gardening and agricultural requirements shops, ticket agencies, spa facilities providing services covered at least in part by public health insurance, funeral services, florist shops, shops and dispensaries of medical devices and premises related to the construction industry. The prohibition also does not apply to activities that are not trades under the Trades Licencing Act.

On the other hand, from 16.00 onwards on 16 March 2020, the sale of accommodation is prohibited except for hostels, spa facilities and school boarding facilities;  the running of driving schools, alternative taxis except for food distribution, the operation of laundries and dry cleaners, the retail sale of building materials and hobby markets are all prohibited. The same starting time applies to a prohibition on the running of indoor and outdoor sports facilities. The government has decided that, until further notice, the so-called blue parking zones in towns and municipalities are cancelled. The direct sale of tickets by train conductors on trains has also been banned.

The government also has also, with effect from 16 March 2020, prohibited all doctors, dentists, pharmacists and medical staff from taking their holiday entitlement for the duration of the emergency. It has ordered all public authority and administration bodies, to switch until 6.00 am on 24 March to limited operations consisting of executing only essential business, limiting personal contacts with the public or clients and between employees as such and reducing the number of employees in the workplace to the strictly essential minimum. "This means that they should have a limited number of office hours during the week, for a maximum of three hours on Mondays and Wednesdays only," the Prime Minister clarified.

Ministers have also decided as a result of the ban on free movement to postpone the Senate by-elections, which were due to take place following the death of Senate Chairman Jaroslav Kubera, on 27 and 28 March and 3 and 4 April, as decided by the President of the Republic. The elections will take place on an alternative, as yet undecided, date.

In a further extraordinary measure the government has also instructed the regional governors and the mayor of Prague that they must if required provide school facilities to take care of children aged from 3 to 10, whose legal guardians work as employees of the security forces, the municipal police, health service providers, public health authorities, members of the armed forces and teaching or non-teaching staff of any designated school or school facility; with no more than 15 children in each such group.

The government has also imposed a work obligation on students in the fifth and sixth year of full-time study of general medicine at the medical faculties of public universities and the final years of daily/full-time study programmes or fields of study preparing nurses, paediatric nurses, paramedics, public health protection and support assistant services to health service providers, to ensure the provision of health services to the health services provider and to ensure the functioning of the public health protection authorities for the duration of the emergency.

At the same time the government has also approved the release free of charge by the State Material Reserves Administration of material reserves for the needs of the basic components of the Integrated Rescue System and the Czech Army for interventions in the affected territory and for direct humanitarian aid, for the duration of the emergency and for emergency and humanitarian aid stocks in the form of a loan or transfer for consumption and permanent use for the duration of the emergency. The State Material Reserves Administration has also been given the task of purchasing the necessary material and equipment, in the form of a tender without publication.

Ministers have also decided to release up to an additional 1.5 billion crowns from the government budget reserve to the Ministry of Health for the purchase of essential protective equipment and other equipment to be used in dealing with the crisis relating to the spread of the coronavirus.

The government has also decided to amend the status of the Central Crisis Staff. Deputy Minister of Health Roman Prymula has been appointed Chairman of the Crisis Staff.

The government has also approved tax measures by means of which the Ministry of Finance has responded to the concerns of businessmen and other taxpayers affected by the coronavirus epidemic. Details of the extraordinary measures in the taxation area can be found in the Ministry of Finance press release at

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