Czech morning news in brief: top headlines for June 17, 2021

Primarks opens in Prague today, crime in the Czech Republic on the decline, heat warning for Prague, and Bulgaria opens to Czech tourist travel.

Expats.cz

Written by Expats.cz
Published on 17.06.2021 09:51 (updated on 17.06.2021)

Primark opening in Prague sees long lines, fanfare

Irish retailer Primark opened its first store in the Czech capital Thursday morning with large crowds queuing before the opening and lines stretching from the St. Wenceslas statue to the Flow Building where the fast-fashion chain is located. Primark representatives cut a blue ribbon to the sounds of Queen's "We Are the Champions" when the shop officially opened its doors at 9 a.m. The opening of Primark was delayed by a year due to coronavirus restrictions. The building houses three floors covering an area of ​​4,600 square meters. It is the 396th store in the chain, which operates in thirteen European countries and the US. "The opening of Primark in Prague is without a doubt the most significant entry of a new brand from the family fashion segment into the local market...over the past twenty years," Jan Kotrbáček, head of retail leasing for Cushman & Wakefield in Central and Eastern Europe told iDnes.cz.

Czechs can newly travel to Bulgaria without restrictions

Travelers from the Czech Republic can enter Bulgaria without any restrictions as of today, but on return, must submit a negative Covid-19 test or a certificate confirming either their first dose of vaccine or that they underwent Covid, Czech Foreign Minister Jakub Kulhánek tweeted. Originally, it was planned that Czechs would be able to enter Bulgaria unrestricted 22 days following their first dose of vaccine against Covid-19, as is the case of Slovakia, Germany, Austria, Poland, Slovenia, and Hungary. "The Bulgarians have taken an accommodating approach to us beyond the Foreign Ministry's request and granted the entry not even conditional on the first vaccination dose," Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Eva Davidová told ČTK. The Czech Republic is going to enable the entry of travelers from Bulgaria who have received one dose of vaccine at least as of Monday, June 21, based on the cabinet's recent decision. Bulgaria, along with Greece and Croatia, ranks among the most popular tourist destinations for Czechs.

Crime in the Czech Republic sees a decrease in 2020

The number of criminal prosecutions in 2020 decreased by roughly 30,000 in the Czech Republic in comparison to the previous year, said the Supreme State Attorney's Office (NSZ) in its annual report. Criminal prosecution was launched against 67,844 people, with state attorneys taking 62,121 cases to court. Czech state attorneys also charged 268 firms last year. The NSZ said crime dropped due to the pandemic. The NSZ also reports that criminal behavior remained unchanged even though the crime rate fell. Most cases were property crimes. Violent crimes stagnated, and cybercrimes continued to increase even more steeply. In connection with the coronavirus epidemic and the measures introduced to curb the infection spread, state attorneys recorded new phenomena such as blackmail with the threat of spreading Covid, scaremongering, and filing criminal complaints against the government.

EC approves national recovery plans; Czech Republic submits strategy late

The European Commission (EC) has approved the first national pandemic recovery plans, on the basis of which European Union countries will draw money from the pandemic fund. Commission President Ursula von der Leyen announced Wednesday during a visit to Portugal that it was the first to confirm its investment strategy. According to EU officials, Spain, Greece, and Denmark are also in the group of approved countries. The Czech Republic, so far the last of the 23 to have submitted its plan, will not be among them. The Commission wants to issue bonds for an unprecedented fund with a total volume of EUR 750 billion (CZK 19.1 trillion CZK). On Tuesday, it announced that thanks to high demand from investors, it received the first EUR 20 billion. The Czech Republic, which is entitled to EUR 7.1 billion (over CZK 180 billion); will likely have to wait until September to receive the money.

Heat warning for Prague today as temps climb past 30°C

In most parts of Bohemia and in the south of Moravia, the afternoon temperature will exceed 31°C on Thursday afternoon, the Czech Hydrometeorological Institute (CHMI) reports. According to its forecast, the following days should be tropical, with the most intense heat expected on Saturday, when temps could climb to 35 degrees Celsius. The warning for high Thursday temperatures applies to Prague and the Central Bohemian, South Bohemian, Plzeň, Karlovy Vary, Ústí nad Labem and Liberec regions, and the southern half of the South Moravian region. Reduced physical activity and steady hydration are recommended.

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