Czech morning news in brief: top stories for Feb. 26, 2021

Entrepreneurs' COVID compensation to double, Slavia scores 'sporting miracle' win, and British band Morcheeba confirmed for ČT concert Staff

Written by Staff Published on 26.02.2021 09:32:00 (updated on 26.02.2021) Reading time: 4 minutes

ECONOMY: Entrepreneurs' coronavirus compensation could double

The contribution to entrepreneurs and partners of small companies, whose activities have been limited by government measures against the coronavirus epidemic, could double to CZK 1,000 a day according to iDnes. Employees will have a daily contribution of CZK 500 as part of the potential agreement. Those whose sales have fallen by at least 50 percent will receive support. The Senate approved it Thursday. The amendment will now be signed by the president. According to the template, the bonus will be paid out for February and March. However, the government will be mandated by law to introduce additional bonus periods, which always correspond to one additional calendar month, by the end of 2021 at the latest. The Ministry of Finance estimates that the impact of the new bonus on public finances will be CZK 19.4 billion in February and March, of which 18 billion will be on the state budget, 1.1 billion on municipal budgets, and 0.4 billion on regional budgets. 

SPORT: Slavia secure 'sporting miracle' win over Leicester City in Europe

Will Slavia Prague win the Europa League?

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Slavia Prague has qualified for the last-16 of the Europa League with a 2–0 win away at former Premier League champions Leicester City. The Czech league leaders were held to a goalless draw in the first leg of their tie against the English side. But goals from Lukáš Provod and Abdallah Sima saw the away side progress. Manager Jindřich Trpišovsky told the Slavia Prague website: "The difference between the teams is incredible, it's a sporting miracle, I would compare us winning here to Leicester winning the league." It is the first win over an English side since 2000. The draw for the next round of the competition took place on Friday afternoon and Slavia will play Scottish side Rangers in the last-16 of the competition, with the winners moving into the quarter-finals.

COVID: Three animals at Prague zoo contract COVID

COVID testing from stool samples in the Prague zoo showed two lions and a western gorilla have contracted COVID-19, but their symptoms have been very mild so far, zoo head Miroslav Bobek told iRozhlas. Further testing will follow. Zoos are currently closed over the coronavirus epidemic in the Czech Republic. In the lions, the symptoms manifest with cold, muffled coughs, while in the gorilla, called Richard, a loss of appetite and fatigue occurred, Bobek said. In cooperation with a veterinary authority, the zoo will gradually test further animals, too. "The sequencing of the samples will be conducted, too, so that we know what coronavirus variant it is," he added. The infected animals are monitored by their keepers and will receive symptomatic treatment if needed. Prague zoo staff is in touch with experts from other gardens that experience COVID in animals.

Šíření covidu-19 zasáhlo i Zoo Praha. Testování zvířat prováděné ze vzorků trusu dnes ukázalo, že pozitivní jsou lvi...

Posted by Miroslav Bobek, veÅ™ejný profil on Thursday, 25 February 2021

ENTERTAINMENT: Czech interest in audiobooks jumps during pandemic

Czechs spent more than CZK 230 billion on audiobooks and sales rose by some 12.4 percent year-on-year, while their digital distribution increased to physical media due to the shop closures, the Association of Audiobook Publishers (AVA) said in a press release today. "Last year's lockdown brought a number of users to the digital format of audiobooks. The number of those listening to audiobooks on their smartphones and computers steeply rose. This has considerably sped up the trend of the transition to the digital distribution of audiobooks," AVA board deputy head Alan Piskac said. In 2020, some 442 new audiobooks were released in the Czech market with crime fiction and thrillers dominating and Czech and Slovak authors prevailing over the foreign ones.

CULTURE: British band Morcheeba to perform at Czech culture event on Saturday

British band Morcheeba will be one of the stars of the Národ sobě – kultura tobě (Nation for Itsel – Culture for You) televised concert in support of culture to be held in the National Theatre (ND) in Prague on Saturday. From their homes, the Morcheeba members will virtually join more than 40 Czech bands and musicians to perform on six improvised stages in the ND historical building. The concert highlights the situation of Czech culture affected by the ban on public events amid the pandemic. It will mainly present unusual and rare artistic connections, for instance, the Czech rock band Lucie accompanied by the National Theatre's orchestra and other pop music singers and musicians. More than 200 artists will perform at the event, including the ND ballet and Laterna Magika multimedia show ensembles. It will be broadcast Feb.27 at 8:10 p.m. on ČT art.

WEATHER: More February records broken with cool weather to arrive

The Czech Republic is experiencing unusually warm weather this week after recent frosts and heavy snowfall. Twenty stations measured the highest February temperature so far on Thursday, and 47 out of 154 stations measuring at least thirty years broke the current record for Feb. 25. The hottest was in Byňov in the České Budějovice region, where they measured 20.1 degrees Celsius. In Ropice in the Frýdek-Místek region, the thermometer showed exactly twenty degrees, an employee of the Czech Hydrometeorological Institute (CHMI) told ČTK. Before the weekend, a cold front will arrive and it will cool noticeably, therefore meteorologists do not expect temperature records in the coming days. On Friday, the maximum temperatures will be between 12 and 16 degrees. In the following days, it will be a maximum of five to nine degrees across the country.

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