April 2024: Everything you need to know this month in Czechia

April sees new regulations and laws – like liability insurance – come into effect, and provides the last chance to do several things. Remember these dates!

Expats.cz Staff

Written by Expats.cz Staff Published on 29.03.2024 17:00:00 (updated on 02.04.2024) Reading time: 6 minutes

Easter Monday

The month gets underway with Easter Monday on April 1, which will see stores over 200 square meters in size, including supermarkets and clothing shops, required to close. Pharmacies, gas stations, shops at airports, railway stations (including Prague’s Hlavní nádraží), and hospitals are exempt from this regulation. Schools, universities, and almost all public administration buildings will be out of operation.

Watch out for metro suspension

Metro services on the C (red) line between I.P. Pavlova and Nádraží Holešovice will be out of operation between March 29 and April 1 due to repair works. Bus replacement services (the XC line) will be active; more information is on the Prague Public Transport Company website.

Winter tires no more

The obligation to drive with winter tires in snowy or icy conditions ends on April 1. Unlike other EU countries (Italy, for example), there is no legal requirement to actually switch from winter to summer tires from April to September, but the Ministry of Transport recommends doing so.

Driver-rehab programs

Starting April 1, drivers losing licenses for dangerous behavior must attend a therapy program to regain their license, mandated by an amendment to the Road Traffic Act. The Methodological Center, overseen by the Czech Ministry of Transport, will administer these courses. Applicants must provide proof of completion when applying for license reinstatement.

Car-emissions tests

From April 1, police will resume roadside emissions tests at random points on Czech highways and smaller roads. Last year, 70 percent of vehicles failed and needed reinspection. Selected cars undergo a 20-minute emission check using probes and computers. Exceeding limits can indicate car issues or poor fuel/filters.

New road liability law

Effective April 1, so-called “green cards” for proving liability insurance when operating a vehicle in Czechia will no longer be required; police can see the insurance on an online database. Furthermore, liability insurance will become mandatory for fast, privately owned electric scooters with a maximum speed faster than 25 kilometers per hour (km/h), or faster than 14 km/h if its operating weight is greater than 25 kilograms.

Reissuance of VZP cards

Starting April 1, the General Health Insurance Company (VZP) will automatically issue new insured cards, valid for 10 years, to about 2.74 million individuals whose current cards expire this year. VZP will send the cards to the registered address at least 30 days before the expiry date, along with instructions. Clients should visit a VZP branch in case of problems.

New tax on tobacco products

From April 1, a new tax on e-cigarette refills and nicotine pouches, which will gradually rise until 2027, comes properly into force. The law was actually implemented in January, but manufacturers had a three-month transition period to adjust and relabel their products. Consumption tax on e-cigarette refills in 2024 amounts to CZK 2.5 per milliliter (ml) and will rise to CZK 10/ml until 2027. For nicotine sachets, the tax rate in 2024 is CZK 0.4 per gram (g) and will rise to CZK 1.7/g by 2027.

Primary school applications open

The yearly application window for Czech primary schools, available for children who will be six years old before the 2024/25 school year (born between Sept. 1, 2017, and Aug. 31, 2018), or who deferred last year, opens on April 1. You can find application forms on individual schools' websites.

Kids go back to school

Speaking of schools, Tuesday, April 2, marks the return of children to public Czech schools after an extended Easter break. Universities have different timetables and schedules.

Deadline for paper tax returns

Self-employed people in Czechia have to submit their income tax returns for the previous year in paper form before April 2. Regional tax authorities have announced they will extend their office hours to accommodate the expected influx of submissions in the final week. Online tax returns are not due until May 2.

Warner brothers launching

Warner TV is set to premiere in Czechia on April 2. The free, 24-hour channel, available in SD via DVB-T2 broadcasting, Offering a variety of American-produced series, movies, and documentaries, it marks the first free-to-air television channel introduced by the company in the country.

Prague marathons

The Prague Half Marathon takes place on April 6, with the race starting at 10 a.m. The 21-kilometer route will run through the center of Prague, starting at Holešovice Market Square and going through the Edvard Beneš embankment, Jan Palach Square, the Dancing House, and more famous attractions. Major routes, including Pařížská Street and Legion Bridge, will be closed to accommodate the runners: see an overview of traffic disruption on the CzechRun website.

If you're brave enough, you can still register for the Prague International Marathon in April (the last deadline is April 28, depending on capacity), which takes place at the start of May. Be aware that many major roads, including the Na Příkopě, Celetná, and Národní streets will be closed.

Spring cleaning drive

The Ukliďme Česko (Let's Clean up Czechia) event takes place on April 6. Members of the public are invited to sign up for the event and voluntarily clean hundreds of spots in Prague and Czechia, including abandoned military buildings, schools, parks, and more.

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End of Easter markets

Prague's main Easter markets on Wenceslas Square and in the Old Town end on April 7. Anděl's Easter market ends a little later, on April 9.

A conference on the gender pay gap

The 15th annual conference of the Czech Equal Pay Day project takes place on April 11 and April 12 at Prague 9’s Clarion Congress Hotel. Its goal is to improve women's financial stability by stimulating discussions among companies and the public about the underlying causes of persistent wage inequality. The event also includes private mentoring sessions. Tickets start from EUR 79 (CZK 2,000).

An English-friendly retirement talk

Are you nearing retirement age and need assistance with your claims from the Czech pension insurance system? The Czech Social Security Administration (CSSZ) offers consultations with translation into English at a CSSZ building in Prague 5 on April 11 between 8:30 a.m. and 1: 30 p.m. These consultations are free and can be scheduled in advance online. Full details found here.

Last chance for Matějská pouť funfair

You have until April 14 to visit Prague 7's famous Matějská pouť funfair at Výstaviště. The fairground is open 1 p.m. to 9 p.m., Tuesday to Friday, and from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. on the weekends. Entry is free on weekdays and costs CZK 30 on weekends. You will need to pay per ride.

Waste collection fees

People with permanent residence in Kladno and Hradec Králové must pay municipal waste collection fees by April 15 and April 25 respectively. Praguers don't need to do this until June. Payments can be made to the relevant municipality's bank account using a variable symbol to identify oneself.

Celebrate Earth Day

The Czech Association of Nature Conservators and the Malešice Ekocentrum will hold the 20th annual Earth Day celebration in Prague 10’s Malešický Park on April 20. The event, running from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m., will feature a diverse program hosted by 60 organizations focusing on environmental protection, nature, animals, sustainable development, and a healthy lifestyle. The Children and Youth House Prague 4 will also hold an afternoon, children-focused event in Braník on April 20.

Burn some witches

The Central European folk custom of Witches' (or Walpurgis) Night takes place annually in Czechia on the night of April 30. Known as Čarodějnice in Czech, several locations in Prague and nationwide will host special, if not spooky, events that see the open-air burning of witches' effigies and some sausage roasting over an open fire. This event symbolizes the end of cold weather. You can find a list of Čarodějnice events here, which features witch-burning at Prague 6's Park Ladronka.

Help the homeless

English-speaking volunteer organization Friendship Prague has already opened its sign-up form for its April activities schedule, which includes collecting for and delivering from a food bank every week, preparing bags of food, helping distribute donated clothes, and going on a walk. Sign up here.

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