Coronavirus update, June 23, 2021: Czech travel map revised, all neighboring countries now green

Plus: PM Babiš: says faults from last summer must not be repeated, court retroactively finds more restrictions unlawful. Staff

Written by Staff Published on 23.06.2021 09:45:00 (updated on 23.06.2021) Reading time: 4 minutes

More countries in Covid low-risk zone on Czech traveler's map

Several countries, including Austria, Bulgaria, Germany, and Italy, switched to the "green" Covid-19 low-risk category on the Czech traveler's map, which means that no duties apply to arrivals from these states, Foreign Minister Jakub Kulhánek has announced on Twitter. The ministry's map changed again just one day after the previous update. As of Monday, the low-risk countries were Albania, Australia, Finland, Hong Kong, Iceland, Israel, Japan, Lebanon, Macao, Malta, Monaco, New Zealand, North Macedonia, Poland, Romania, San Marino, Serbia, Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan, Thailand, the U.S. and the Vatican.

From Tuesday, the green group also includes Austria, Bulgaria, Germany, Italy, Hungary, Liechtenstein, Norway, Slovakia, the Balearic Islands and Madeira. Monaco, on the other hand, has been transferred from the green group to the orange group of medium-risk countries.

At the same time, based on the cabinet's recent decision, people from all over the EU and Serbia can enter the Czech Republic without restrictions if they meet the rules as regards the undergone vaccination, test or Covid-infection. Those vaccinated abroad have to prove it by producing the relevant national certificate.

Babiš: Mistakes from last summer must not be repeated

The mistakes from last summer must not be repeated, Prime Minister Andrej Babiš said at a security conference, hinting at the impetuous relaxation of the lockdown measures last year. Babiš added that he considered the healthcare sector crucial for security.

"The Covid pandemic subjected the whole of the world to a trial it had never faced before. This was a conflict with an invisible, unpredictable and lethal enemy," Babiš said.

"Even though the situation is developing optimistically, we must not repeat the mistakes from last summer. We must be especially cautious when it comes to the new virus mutations," Babiš noted. He mainly warned of the more infectious delta variant. He added that he hoped the Czech Republic would reach collective immunity thanks to the continuing vaccination against Covid-19.

Anti-Covid measures in schools, shops found unlawful

The Czech Supreme Administrative Court (NSS) retrospectively canceled as unlawful further three anti-epidemic measures issued by the Health Ministry in April and affecting schools and retail businesses, the NSS wrote on its notice board. Because one of the measures practically banned the public from entering shops, the ministry disabled the operation of the businesses in question. However, the pandemic law empowers the ministry to regulate the businesses, but not to disable their running. The NSS previously stated that the law clearly distinguishes between bans and restrictions. As for the school restriction, the court said the public health protection law allows only for local and temporary anti-epidemic restrictions.

"It is not and it cannot be a blanket tool similar to the one the government had under the state of emergency," the court ruled.

Health Minister Adam Vojtěch launched an internal audit to review the implementation of anti-Covid measures. In total, the NSS cancelled or declared unlawful more than 20 anti-epidemic provisions.

Less interest than expected in Pardubice vaccination truck

Paramedics from a vaccination truck in Pardubice administered the vaccine to 2,600 people in a week of operation. The Pardubice region expected more interest. The truck began operation on June 14 and is now the area of the Chrudim Hospital. Deputy Governor Michaela Matoušková originally estimated that it would vaccinate an average of 1,000 people a day.  

ČSSD: Tackling Covid aftermath should fall on those who have money

Tackling the Covid-19 pandemic consequences in the Czech Republic should mainly be joined by those who have money for it, according to the junior government Social Democrats' (ČSSD) election program the party presented at a press conference. In this connection, the ČSSD wants to tax properties over CZK 100 million, abolish the corporate tax exceptions used by big companies, and introduce a bank tax as well as progressive income tax.

"The priority aim of the ČSSD program is to prevent the costs of the pandemic from being covered by the middle class, employees and low-income people once again," ČSSD chairman and Deputy PM Jan Hamáček said.

The ČSSD, which was the Czech Republic's left leader and the senior partner in several cabinets from 1996 to 2017, gained only 7.27 percent of the vote and 15 seats in the 200-seat Chamber of Deputies in the previous general election four years ago.

Deaths at one or zero for four days in a row

There were 131 more Covid cases reported on Tuesday, 75 fewer than last week. The seven-day incidence per 100,000 population dropped further to seven. Seven Czech districts had no infections in the last week: Plzeň-sever, Cheb, Beroun, Trutnov, Chrudim, Třebíč, and Jeseník. The reproduction number R, which had risen to 0.88, returned to 0.83. according to Health Ministry data. A value under 1.0 means the pandemic is receding. There are currently 78 patients with Covid-19 in the hospitals, with 12 in severe condition. The number of hospitalized has remained below 100 since the weekend. So far, no deaths were reported for Tuesday, while there was one death each on Monday and Sunday, and none on Saturday.

Latest Covid-19 data from the Czech Ministry of Health (June 23, 2021)

  • New cases 131
  • Deaths 30,289
  • Currently hospitalized 78
  • PCR tests performed 7,822,988
  • Antigen tests performed 20,482,768
  • Total vaccinations 7,456,800
  • Daily increase in vaccinations 108,618
  • People who have completed vaccination 2,695,139
  • New cases per 100,000 in seven days 7
  • PES index 32
  • R number 0.83
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