Czech morning news in brief: top stories for Feb. 9, 2021

Frost warning in effect for several regions, Czech players advance in Australian Open, Jewish Museum responds to Maláčová.

ČTK

Written by ČTK
Published on 09.02.2021 09:55 (updated on 09.02.2021)

SPORT: Kvitova and Plíšková advance in the Australian Open

Czech tennis player Karolína Plíšková began her time at the Australian Open with a comprehensive win in 47 minutes in Melbourne. She defeated the Italian Jasmine Paolini 6-0, 6-2 to move into the next round. Three other Czech women Marie Bouzková, Barbora Strýcová, and Kristýna Plíšková exited the competition at the first-round stage. 2019 runner-up Petra Kvitova had already comfortably sealed a victory with a 6-3, 6-4 victory over Greet Minnen. Kvitova will face Sorana Cîrstea in the second round while Karolína Plíšková will take on American player Danielle Rose Collins. Barbora Krejčíková, Karolína Muchová, and Tomáš Macháč are still to complete their first-round matches. 

WEATHER: Severe frost warning goes into effect for Czech Republic

Winter came out in full force in the Czech Republic on Monday with snow and black ice continuing to complicate traffic and record snowfalls the Czech capital has not seen in over a decade. This week a deep freeze will hit the country during which temps will remain below freezing, while some regions will feel Arctic blasts of cold as temps could drop to -20°C. The Czech Hydrometeorological Institute has issued a frost warning from 22:00 today until further notice for nine regions in the northern half of the country while in Prague temps should hover around -8°C to -9°C but could drop to an extreme -15°C below in the early morning with extremes likely occurring on Thursday.

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HISTORY: 600-year-old Czech stone bridge to be repaired

The U Lutriána bridge near Věžnice in the Havlíčkův Brod region, possibly the oldest stone structure in the Czech Republic, was damaged by a flood in 2012 and, due to a property dispute, has remained in disrepair for a number of years. Mf Dnes is reporting that because of the increasingly deteriorating condition of the three-arch medieval stone bridge on the Šlapance River, it will likely receive cultural protection and repairs will proceed.

TOURISM: Stays by tourists in the Czech Republic decreased by half

According to the Czech Statistical Office (CSO) last year 10.8 million tourists stayed in the Czech Republic a year-on-year decrease of 51 percent. There were almost three quarters fewer foreign guests. Tourists spent 31.2 million nights in hotels, boarding houses, and campsites, which represents a year-on-year decrease of 45.3 percent the CSO confirmed. "The global pandemic significantly reduced the possibility of travel last year, so all sources of foreign markets remained well below the results of previous years," the CSO reported. Most tourists came from Germany; a total of 819,000 Germans visited the country but this number also represents a decrease of roughly sixty percent.

CONTROVERSY: Jewish Museum calls out Czech politican's WWII remark

Leo Pavlat, the director of the Jewish Museum in Prague, objected to Labour and Social Affairs Minister Jana Malacova's comments comparing the coronavirus pandemic consequences, namely school closures, to World War II. Malacova said in a TV debate on Sunday that not even the Second World War had prevented children from going to school. Pavlat said that Jewish children were banned from attending all types of schools during WWII. After the Nazi occupation of the Czech Lands, Jewish children were first expelled from German schools, later Czech ones, and eventually also those administered by Jewish communities. Politicians and journalists on social media criticized Malacova's statement. She had previously tweeted that she meant no disrespect and was simply underscoring the urgency of returning children to school.