Czech morning news in brief: top headlines for May 4, 2021

Chairman of NATO Military Committee visits Prague today, Croatia Airlines to fly direct from Prague to Split, and, Polish diplomats decry abortion tourism. Staff

Written by Staff Published on 04.05.2021 09:40:00 (updated on 04.05.2021) Reading time: 3 minutes

Head of the NATO Military Committee visiting Prague today

The official part of the three-day visit of the chairman of the NATO Military Committee, Stuart Peach, to Prague, will begin today with a ceremonial welcome at the honorary courtyard of the Vítkov Memorial. The main representative of the North Atlantic alliance will first meet with the Chief of the General Staff Aleš Opat, and at noon he will be received by the Minister of Defense Lubomír Metnar. Peach arrived in Prague for a farewell visit before his impending resignation as chairman of the Military Committee. He has been at its head since the end of June 2018, when he replaced Czech General Petr Pavel. He arrived in Prague on Monday and will stay in the capital until Wednesday. Today, he will first meet the Abbot of Vítkov, then together at the monument in Klárov will honor the memory of Czechoslovak pilots fighting during World War II in the British Royal Air Force (RAF). Chief Air Marshal Peach has served with the RAF since 1977.

Quarantine rules partially relaxed for returnees from abroad

Czech residents 14 days past the second dose of the Covid vaccine will be able to return from abroad from the "orange" and "red" countries without coronavirus tests and quarantine from May 4, Czech Foreign Minister Jakub Kulhanek tweeted Monday. On return from the high- (red) and moderate- (orange) risk states, a test prior to departure is required only from people who will use public transport in the Czech Republic. Those returning from the red countries must undergo a PCR test on the fifth day following their arrival in the Czech Republic and those coming from orange countries must undergo a PCR or antigen test within the same five-day time frame. At present, only those returning from a very high-risk (dark red) country are still required to undergo a Covid test before departure. This category of states includes a small number of EU members and most third countries, including Britain.


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Croatia Airlines will start flying from Prague to Split

At the end of June, the Croatian company Croatia Airlines will become the second carrier to offer a direct air connection between Prague and Split. It will fly once a week. The carrier announced the start of the new line on its website today. For the time being, it will fly once a week, on Saturday from June 26. Flights are scheduled only until September 11. It will compete with Smartwings flights, which expect daily connections on the route from June. The cheapest round trip tickets start at CZK 3,700.

Polish diplomacy struggling against "abortion tours" to Czech Republic

Polish diplomacy has intervened in Prague over a bill being discussed by Czech senators that would enable Polish women to undergo legal abortion, banned in Poland, in the Czech Republic, Polish daily Gazeta Wyborcza has written. It quotes a Polish deputy foreign minister as saying that the planned Czech bill is a step encouraging Polish women to circumvent their homeland's law. In strongly Catholic Poland, abortion has been practically banned. Stricter rules met with mass protests last year, though the Polish government has not relented. It's expected that Polish women will now seek help abroad, where abortion of a severely damaged fetus is legal, such as in the neighboring Czech Republic, Gazeta Wyborcza writes, adding that Poland's governing party Law and Justice is afraid of "abortion tourism." In reaction to the Polish letter, the Czechs answered that the Czech-discussed provisions are in harmony with the EU law, Gazeta Wyborcza writes.

Czech, Slovak, Austrian foreign ministers back free media

Foreign ministers of the Czech Republic, Slovakia, and Austria backed free media in a joint declaration Monday, and expressed their determination to protect the security and free work of journalists both in their countries and in the world, Jakub Kulhánek, Ivan Korčok, and Alexander Schallenberg wrote. The authors of the declaration condemned the attacks journalists have recently faced due to their role in building a free informed society. The ministers wrote that pressure on reporters has intensified amid the coronavirus epidemic. They expressed their concerns over many unpunished perpetrators. The ministers' declaration titled Journalists without Protection was released by daily Lidové noviny (LN) on the occasion of World Press Freedom Day.

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