Press Advisories

31. 3. 2020 12:48

Measures adopted by the Czech Government against coronavirus

General measures

  • As of 12 March, the State of emergency was declared.
  • As of 13 March, full-time education in elementary, secondary and tertiary educational facilities, as well as universities, facilities specialised in language education and activities organised by these subjects are forbidden.
  • As of 13 March, 6:00 am, all sport, cultural, religious and other activities both public and private encompassing more than 30 persons are forbidden. This is does not apply to meetings of the state administration (e.g. the judiciary, Government meetings, meetings of constitutional authorities) and funerals.
  • As of 14 March, public access to swimming pools and tourist information centres is forbidden. The same applies to indoor and outdoor sports centres servicing (simultaneously over 30 people) and retail sales in stalls and markets. Restriction applies also to casinos, public restaurants and other eateries, including food courts in shopping malls larger than 5000 m2.
  • As of 14 March, retail sales and the sales of services on the spot is forbidden, with the exception of foodstuffs, electronics, ICT, fuel, pharmacies, chemists, animal welfare goods and feeds, opticians, newsagents, laundromats and e-shops. As of 26 March, there are new exceptions to this ban: locksmithing and servicing of household products, repair, maintenance and installation of household machinery and equipment, funeral services and car washes. The measure is lasting until 11 April and may be prolongated.
  • As of 16 March, free movement is limited with the exception of travel to and from work and necessary travels to ensure basic human needs (e.g. foodstuffs, pharma shopping, helping older family members). It is forbidden to provide accommodating services. As of 27 March, accommodation services are allowed to accommodate guests, who need to be accommodated for the purposes of work or business.
  • As of 18 March, all reexports of medicines and medicinal products registered for CZ market to the EU and the export of such outside the EU is forbidden. With effect from the same day, all stores and transport operators are advised to regularly disinfect their premises, particularly areas that commonly come into contact with persons.
  • As of 19 March, all persons need to be equipped with a face mask or other covering of the nose and mouth while outside of their residence.
  • As of 25 March, all shops over 500 m2 are reserved from 8:00am to 10:00am for seniors and disabled persons above 50 years of age. In stores below 500 m2, employees are ordered to give priority to the above-mentioned persons.
  • As of 30 March 2020, the project of the so-called “smart quarantine” has started in testing mode. The goal of smart quarantine is to prevent the further spread of SARS CoV-2 coronavirus in the Czech Republic as quickly and effectively as possible. Smart quarantine, which will map the contacts of positively tested individuals for COVID-19 using modern information technologies, is intended to help regional hygiene stations trace other potentially infected.

Measures concerning foreigners and border crossing

  • As of 14 March, temporary reintroduction of internal borders with Germany and Austria - lasting until 5 April 2020 with possible prolongation. Border crossing possible only at a limited selection of 11 land borders as well as the Prague International Airport and the Prague - Kbely airport. Additional 8 border crossings available for verified cross-border workers. Land borders with Slovakia (from 13 March) and Poland (from 15 March) were closed by local Governments.
  • As of 16 March, until 12 April, the access to CZ forbidden for all foreign nationals, with the exception of foreign nationals with permanent residence or temporary residence of over 90 days and foreign nationals whose entry is in the interest of CZ.
  • Each returnee to the Czech Republic has to undergo the mandatory 2 weeks quarantine.
  • CZ citizens are forbidden from departing the country (with possibility of exceptions e.g. cross-border workers).
  • Foreign nationals with permanent residence or temporary residence of over 90 days may depart the country without right to return for the duration of the state of emergency.
  • Granting of visas and temporary residence of over 90 days and the relevant procedures at CZ consular offices have been suspended with the exception of foreign nationals whose visa application is in the interest of CZ.
  • Citizens already legally present in CZ are allowed to stay for the duration of the state of emergency.
  • As of 21 March, all cross-border workers must submit a proof of foreign employment as well as all relevant documentation when crossing the national border. Documentation will be stamped on crossing.
  • International air travel, rail travel, coach travel, boat travel and road travel for more than 9 persons is suspended.
  • New measure taken due to problems with cross-border workers. When returning to the Czech Republic, they will automatically have to submit to a fourteen-day quarantine. In practice, this will mean that if a cross-border worker does not want to be exposed to a risk of quarantine, he will be forced to find a temporary accommodation at his place of work for the necessary period. As of 26 March, the measure concerning cross-border workers has been modified. They are now divided into different categories according to the border crossing point and the type of work carried out abroad. For example, a book of a cross-border worker is not required, and no quarantine is required upon return for medical personnel.

Economic measures

  • An amendment to the Act on the Czech National Bank (CNB), which eases the existing restrictions on open market transactions, has been approved. Thanks to the amendment, the CNB can now trade instruments with maturities of more than one year. Also, the CNB can from now on trade with other entities, for example, with insurance and pension companies or with other institutional investors (normally CNB can trade only with banks, and credit unions). Everything was carried out within the framework of the rules of ECB and the aim of this amendment is to strengthen the stability of the Czech financial Market.
  • As of 17 March, Czech National Bank (CNB) has reduced the two-week repo rate by 50 basis points to 1.75 %, the Lombard rate to 2.75 % and the discount rate to 0.75 %. From 18 March, delivery repos will be promulgated three times a week (Monday, Wednesday, Friday). CNB has revised the countercyclical capital buffer for exposures located in the Czech Republic to 1.75 %.
  • Extension of the deadline for the filing of tax returns until 1 July (standard deadline: 31 March) and remission of any fines stemming from the late submission of tax declarations or reports.
  • To keep the employment rate, State will provide 100 billion CZK in direct support and 900 billion CZK in indirect in the form of guarantees.
  • Adoption of so-called Liberation packages. Liberation Package I – state will not impose fines for late submission of personal and corporate income tax return, for late payment of a tax claim and for late submission of control tax reports. Liberation Package II - excuse of the June advance on personal and corporate income tax, state will not impose fines for late submission of real estate property tax return, introduction of Loss carry back and suspension of the obligation to electronically record sales for entities in all phases of EET (during state of emergency and following three months). Liberation packages have been extended. Road tax advances due in April and July can be paid until 15 October and proposal for VAT exemption from goods that are supplied free of charge (e.g. covid-19 test kits, protective clothing, other medical supplies, etc.).
  • Adoption of a program to support companies called “Antivirus” - Government will pay out (through the respective employers) 60% of the average contribution base to employees affected by the quarantine. At the same time the Government will support employers who continue, despite their businesses being shut down, to pay out 100% of the salary to affected employees by covering 80% of salary costs. In case of a supply chain interruption which is crucial for an employer and such employer still pays at least 80 % compensation of standard remuneration to their employees, the State will contribute by 50 % of the compensation. In case the employer is hit by significantly lowered demand on his/her services and such employer pays at least 60 % compensation of standard remuneration, the State will contribute by 50 % of the compensation.
  • Proposal to postpone the launch of the final phase of Electronic Sales Control System (EET) until 3 months after the end of the State of emergency.
  • The state will help self-employed persons, who are taking care of a child from 6 to 13 years of age and are not able to go to work due to the coronavirus, by 424 CZK per day. All self-employed, who have income only from their business, will be given a six-month holiday in the payment of health and social insurance. Holidays cover the amount of the minimum insurance premium, i.e. 4986 CZK.
  • Approved the draft amendment to the State Budget Act for 2020. It counts with total revenues of 1,488.3 billion CZK and expenditures of 1,688.3 billion CZK. The deficit will thus mount to CZK 200 billion (i.e. by 160 billion CZK more than in the originally approved budget). This proposal will be submitted to the Czech Parliament in a speeded-up procedure.
  • The Government released 3.3 billion CZK for the 2020 Rural Development Program. This funding should help entrepreneurs in agriculture, food and forestry while fighting coronavirus crisis. The main reason for this support is ensuring the Czech food independency.

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