The government to ask Chamber of Deputies to extend state of emergency until 25 May
The government of Andrej Babiš will ask the Chamber of Deputies to extend the state of emergency in the Czech Republic until 25 May. The wording of the request was approved by the government at an extraordinary meeting on Friday, 24 April 2020.
The government has decided to submit a request to extend the state of emergency, which is currently still valid until 30 April, as a result of a ruling from the Municipal Court in Prague dated 23 April, annulling key anti-epidemiological measures announced on the basis of the Public Health Protection Act. In order for the government to maintain control over the development of the epidemic in the coming weeks, it must proceed in accordance with the Crisis Act, which, however, can only be applied during a state of emergency.
"I have already signed the government's request to the Chamber of Deputies to discuss our request to extend the state of emergency until 25 May, which is a day in the planned series of relaxations." confirmed Prime Minister Andrej Babiš. At the same time, the Prime Minister praised the Czech Republic's management of the epidemic. "We waited a long time for the effects of Easter, and as we all know, it has turned out very well. So I would like to thank all our fellow citizens for being not only creative, but also showing solidarity and, of course, responsibility, as a result of which we can quickly relax the measures that we have announced. " said Andrej Babiš.
The government also approved a proposal from the Ministry of Finance for an extraordinary contribution of four billion crowns to the fund of the Export Guarantee and Insurance Company (EGAP). This money will be used to cover liabilities from guarantees that EGAP will provide for loans, mainly to large companies that have been damaged during the current coronavirus crisis. EGAP was able to provide guarantees through an amendment to the Act on Insurance and Financing of Exports with State Aid, which was approved by Parliament under the legislative emergency powers and signed by the President of the Republic on Monday. This change to the law was a condition for the launch of the government-approved COVID plus Guarantee programme, prepared by the Ministry of Finance in early April. More in the Ministry of Finance press release (in Czech language).
At the same time, ministers also approved a Government Order on the Implementation of Certain Provisions of the Act on Insurance and Financing of Exports with State Aid, which follows on from the amendment to the Act and regulates, for example, the purpose and scope of guarantees, conditions for their provision, the value of unpaid loan principal and the procedure for disbursing all funds from the state budget in favour of the export insurance company, the part of the export insurance company’s insurance capacity corresponding to the provision of guarantees and the method of creating a fund to cover liabilities from the guarantees provided.
Ministers also approved the plan of the Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs for a gradual relaxation of social service activities. From Monday, 27 April, easy-access facilities for children and young people and social activation services for families with children will be able to start operating, but for the moment only in socially distanced form. At the same time, the government approved an appropriate crisis measure that will allow the restart of these services in a limited form.
Fourteen days later, 11 May, the plan envisages that the providers of these two services will be able to visit clients in their homes and social activation services in socially distanced form will be launched for senior citizens and those with disabilities. The ban on leaving residential areas for clients of residential services, with the exception of senior citizens, is also to end. The complete plan for relaxation of measures can be found in the Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs press release (in Czech language).
The government has also approved a new crisis measure that allows experts and other key employees from the Republic of Korea to come to the Czech Republic for the needs of Hyundai Motor Manufacturing Czech in Nošovice. This is a total of 786 experts from Hyundai's development centres in South Korea who are working on the development of a new Hyundai electric car. The first 446 should arrive in May, and the last three in October. Under the current measures, which still apply a ban on the entry of foreigners into the Czech territory, with a few exceptions, this Korean investment in a major company in the Czech Republic would be jeopardised. The stay of Korean employees in the Czech Republic will be subject to compliance with thorough safety and preventive measures.