Czech morning news in brief: top stories for Jan. 25, 2021

Thirty Czech restaurants opened in protest of restrictions this weekend, new testing point at German border, Czech wages didn't drop due to COVID.


Written by ČTK Published on 25.01.2021 09:42:00 (updated on 25.01.2021) Reading time: 3 minutes

TRAVEL: Testing point for commuters to open near German border

The Karlovy Vary region created a testing point for cross-border commuters in Pomezí nad Ohří near the German border Sunday. The testing went into operation on Monday at 4:00 a.m. The decision is in response to the tightening of conditions for Czech commuters on the Bavarian and Saxony side of the border. Germany will demand repeated testing of commuters. Testing points for commuters will also be established at border crossings in Železná Ruda and Strážná, Prime Minister Andrej Babiš said. The testing points will likely be overseen by the state because antigen tests are not lucrative enough for private companies. Germany has listed the Czech Republic as a high-risk country. Stricter rules for trips from the Czech Republic to Germany went into effect Sunday.

POLICE: Over 30 restaurants violated lockdown through the weekend

Police recorded over 30 open restaurants as part of a protest against the lockdown measures organized by the Chcipl PES (PES/DOG Croaked) group of restaurant owners on Saturday, the police tweeted on Sunday. The violation of the government lockdown restrictions will be dealt with by administrative bodies. In cooperation with the Czech Trade Inspection Authority (COI), the police also checked mountain hotels and pensions. "Yesterday (Saturday), the police, cooperating with the COI, checked tens of accommodation establishments in the mountain areas," the police said. "No problems were found in the providers of these services, but the reverse was true of the operators of restaurants," they added.

PROTESTS: Rally demands investigation into Bečva River pollution

Some 200 protesters demanded a fair investigation into the poisoning of the Bečva River last year in the center of Valašské Meziříčí, Central Moravia Sunday. The river was poisoned by cyanides in September. The serious environmental accident affected some 40 km of the Bečva. Experts say cyanides have damaged the whole water ecosystem. Over 40 tonnes of poisoned fish were transported to a rendering plant. No arrests have been made in connection. "There are various doubts about the investigation. We would like to warn that the authorities are not behaving as they should," organiser Jan Husák told journalists. The march was to highlight the "absolutely unprofessional approach of the Czech Environmental Inspectorate," Husák said.

PIC OF THE DAY: Snowy mountain cottages in Pec pod Sněžkou

EMPLOYMENT: Most Czech employers did not cut wages during pandemic

While there was often talk of reducing wages, remuneration, and benefits in light of the coronavirus, Czech employers did not make many changes last year. In spring, 72 percent of employers did not change wages, during the autumn 88 percent, according to a survey by personnel agency Grafton Recruitment. A similar situation prevailed in the case of employee benefits. More than half of companies currently do not expect any changes in wages in the coming months. Fifteen percent of companies expect changes for the better, on the contrary, a tenth of companies expect a negative development of the situation the survey said.

EDUCATION: Online teaching has improved says new survey

More than one half of parents of Czech schoolchildren said the quality of distance learning was better in autumn than in the spring, but in general, only 40 percent of parents are satisfied with it, according to a poll conducted by the PAQ Research and released Sunday. Three-quarters of pupils had small motivation to learn within distance learning. About one-tenth of them had problems with the technological equipment or access to Internet in autumn. The poll was comprised of 405 parents of children at elementary and secondary schools.

Compared with last spring, distance learning improved in autumn, 53 percent of parents said. Roughly one-quarter of parents evaluated the quality of instruction in both periods as comparable and 15 percent said it had worsened in autumn. The Ministry of Health said last week that children could go back to school in mid-February depending on the epidemiological situation.

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