The government is likely to ask the House again to extend the state of emergency, ending at the weekend. Prime Minister Andrej Babiš called the situation grave due to the lack of beds in intensive care units. “Hellish days await us,” Babis said. The government wants to tighten measures significantly.
Senators are due to discuss a pandemic law on Wednesday, which was to replace the state of emergency from the following Monday, giving the government the power to limit life. However, the spread of COVID-19 and its mutations is alarming, according to Babiš. On Tuesday, the laboratories detected 15,672 new cases of the infection. It is the sixth-worst daily issue since the beginning of the pandemic in the Czech lands.
“Pandemic law does not allow us to take the measures we currently need,” he said. In the afternoon, the ministers will meet with the opposition, employers, trade unions, or the government’s National Economic Council.
The government will also decide on specific measures in the evening. The prime minister indicated that the country would return to the measures from last March. “It must be done, or there would be a total catastrophe in the hospitals. We have not had such a situation here yet, “he said.
Last spring, all schools were closed altogether, a measure that ministers discussed on Wednesday morning. Minister of Education Robert Plaga (for YES) defends the functioning of schools. “I have long pointed out that schools are bearing the cost of curbing the epidemic more than necessary. I will be glad when other members of the government finally understand that schools should be closed last. It is not possible not to introduce mandatory testing and the wearing of protective equipment in companies and to limit again and again only schools, “said Plaga.
It is already clear that students will not return to school at the beginning of March. According to Babiš, this is not possible. He did not state any other return date. Graduates and ninth-graders were to return to the benches from next week. However, the condition was the distribution of antigenic tests, which binds.
A year ago, the government also closed the borders on both sides. However, the Municipal Court in Prague later ruled that the government did not have the right to forbid people from abroad. Restrictions on the arrival of foreigners still apply today.
Babish also mentioned inspiration from Israel, where, for example, people’s movement was limited to a few hundred meters around the residence. There is also speculation about restricting travel between regions.
Restrictions on the operation of factories are also conceivable, which the government has never agreed to. Other measures at workplaces are considered, such as strong home office recommendations or the introduction of mandatory respirators in offices, or mandatory testing.
In the evening, the government will also decide on the state’s contribution to self-testing in companies. Babiš indicated that the assistance could be 60 crowns for up to four tests per month. Massive testing in manufacturing companies is also necessary, according to opposition politicians.