Coronavirus update, April 12, 2021: Czech state of emergency ends after six months

Zoos, farmers markets, botanical gardens, and some shops can reopen; interdistrict travel ban and night curfew end, and some grades return to school. Staff

Written by Staff Published on 12.04.2021 09:34:00 (updated on 12.04.2021) Reading time: 5 minutes

State of emergency ends, some school grades reopen

The ban on traveling between districts and the night curfew has ended. At midnight on April 11, after half a year, the state of emergency expired and measures against the spread of coronavirus will now be governed by the pandemic law. At the same time, the first grades have returned to schools and preschoolers return to kindergartens. Most anti-epidemic measures remain in place. However, the ban on travel between districts ends with the state of emergency, which applied with exceptions, for example, for trips to work or to see a doctor from the beginning of March. The night curfew between 9 p.m. and 5 a.m. has also expired.

Zoos, some shops, farmers markets can reopen

In connection with the return of some pupils to schools, the government decided to open shops with children's clothing, footwear and stationery. The cabinet also added dry cleaners, laundries, locksmiths, spare parts stores for cars and machines or farmers markets to the list of reopened shops and services. From today, driving school students can register for exams. The opening also applies to zoos and botanical gardens, which can resume operation outdoors. They will be allowed to fill a maximum of 20 percent of the capacity. Libraries can also start operating

Arenberger recommends that only two people can meet

New Health Minister Petr Arenberger will submit to the government for approval a measure according to which only two people can continue to meet outside and inside. Originally, up to 20 people were allowed to meet outside and up to 10 inside from Monday, but Arenberger tightened the extraordinary measures of his predecessor Jan Blatný. The measure issued by him is effective from today, when the government must also approve it. The cabinet will meet from 2 p.m.  

Brazilian mutation found in Děčín district, schools to stay closed there

Two cases of the Brazilian mutation of coronavirus occurred in patients from Varnsdorf in the Děčín district. Neither patient was not abroad and it is not clear where they became infected. Hygienists at the beginning of this week will do mass sampling at their workplaces. Both patients had a milder course of Covid-19 and are now fine, Ústí nad Labem Regional Hygiene Station direcotor Lenka Šimůnková said.

"We really only have these two [cases] with a Brazilian mutation so far. In the Ústí nad Labem region, we have a British mutation in most cases, "said Šimůnková.

Due to the discovery of the Brazilian mutation, schools will not open on Monday in the Děčín district. In other parts of the country, primary children and preschoolers will return to school on Monday. The situation in the Děčín district has long been the worst in the Ústí nad Labem region from an epidemic point of view.  

Entrepreneurs can apply for support from new program

Entrepreneurs can start applying for support from the new Covid 2021 program starting today. They will be able to receive a contribution of CZK 500 per employee per day for the period from Jan. 11 to March 31. The condition for entering the program is a drop in sales in that period of at least 50 percent compared to the same period last year or the year before. Applications will be accepted by the Ministry of Industry and Trade until May 31. Support will be provided for the costs of operating and maintaining the business, that is for personnel costs, material costs, services such as leasing, depreciation, taxes and fees, loan repayments or overheads. Applicants will be able to combine Covid 2021 with the Antivirus employment support program, but it is not compatible with the new compensatory bonus for self-employed persons.  

More people can register for vaccination

The remaining chronic patients who have not yet had access to it can register for vaccination as of today. These include patients with rare genetic diseases and people who are unable to comply with anti-epidemic measures due to disabilities. Now, people over the age of 70, healthcare professionals, social workers and people from the integrated rescue system can apply for vaccination. Preference was also given to teachers who could register mainly in March. From Wednesday, April 14, the registration will be open to people over 65.  

Babiš: Experts give advice too late, new rules needed

The Inter-Disciplinary Group for Epidemiological Situations (MeSES) gives its recommendations to the health minister too late, which is not a real mistake, but the government must introduce new rules, Prime Minister Andrej Babiš said in his regular Sunday message to Czech citizens on Twitter. On April 6, Babis’s government agreed that up to 10 people may meet indoors and up to 20 people outdoors as of Monday, April 12, which will be the first day after more than six months when the country will not be under a state of emergency. But Health Minister Petr Arenberger, who was appointed on April 7, announced on Friday that based on the MeSES stance he would propose to the government to ban indoor and outdoor meetings of more than two people.

"The MeSES group started yelling later this week that it is strongly against it, the health minister somehow modified it, and now athletes are yelling now, and I understand them and I will talk to them today," Babis said on Twitter.

Advisory group member Jan Kulveit rejected the criticism, saying the group cannot comment in advance on something that is decided without its knowledge.

Lowest daily number of new cases since Sept. 13

Laboratories confirmed only 976 new coronavirus cases Sunday, the lowest number since Sunday, Sept. 13, 2020, while the daily rise was under 1,000 last time on Sept.20, according to the data that the Health Ministry released today. The weekend figures are usually lower than on workdays due to a lower number of Covid tests. The number of patients hospitalized with COVID-19 further dropped to 5,070, the lowest number since the end of December. Out of them, 1,157 are in a serious condition, the lowest figure in almost two months, the ministry said. However, the reproduction number R, which says how many people get infected from one positive tested person on average, rose to 0.96, approaching 1.00. If this number is below 1.00, it means that the epidemic is slowing down. If it exceeds 1.0, then the virus is spreading with exponential growth.

Latest Covid-19 data from the Czech Ministry of Health (April 12, 2021)

  • New cases 976
  • Deaths 27,918
  • Currently hospitalized 5,070
  • PCR tests performed 6,441,602
  • Antigen tests performed 7,955,652
  • Reported vaccinations 2,089,570
  • PES index 62
  • R number 0.96
Would you like us to write about your business? Find out more