Czech morning news in brief: top stories for Jan. 5, 2021

GPs could offer vaccines from March, Over 50,000 Czechs apply for settled status in the UK post-Brexit, and new road safety measures unveiled. Staff

Written by Staff Published on 05.01.2021 08:49:00 (updated on 05.01.2021) Reading time: 2 minutes

GPs may begin offering vaccine by March

Vaccination against the new coronavirus by general practitioners is likely to start in the Czech Republic in March at the earliest and people will be vaccinated in hospitals until then, Milan Repka, spokesman for VZP, the biggest health insurance company in the country, said in a press release.

The vaccines are paid from the state budget, their application and distribution are covered by health insurance fees paid by all the citizens.

In January and February, selected groups of citizens will be vaccinated in a network of vaccination centers because the distribution and storage of the vaccines will be demanding during these two months, Repka said. Read more here.

New poll suggests people not clear on COVID restrictions

About a half of Czechs are not well versed in the government anti-coronavirus measures and even a smaller number are well aware of the state financial aid to those COVID-afflicted, according to a CVVM and Median agencies' poll.

On the other hand, most respondents said they know well the ways to protect themselves from the infection and are aware of the situation regarding the COVID-19 incidence in the Czech Republic.

Only 49 percent of those polled said they are well versed in the restrictions introduced by the cabinet, with less than one-third saying they know well the ways of financial support offered by the cabinet. See the full story here.

Almost 54,000 Czechs have sought resident status in Britain so far

Almost 54,000 Czechs in Britain have applied for settled status, with 51,000 of the applications being handled so far and a large majority of them being met, Czech Foreign Minister Tomas Petricek told the media after a cabinet meeting today.

He said more than 33,000 settled and more than 15,000 pre-settled statuses have been granted to Czechs in Britain.

Since January 1, British citizens have been third-country citizens in EU countries, and the same is true of Czechs in Britain due to the end of the Brexit transition period.

Krkonose Mountains declare first avalanche risk degree

Mountain rescuers declared the first of the five avalanche risk degrees in the Krkonose, the highest mountain range in the Czech Republic, today, Robert Dlouhy, from the Krkonose mountain rescue service, has said. They did so after some 20 cm of new snow fell in the past days and thus, there are from 25 cm to 45 cm of snow on the Krkonose ridges.

Their Polish counterparts declared the first degree of avalanche warning on Sunday. Generally, the first risk degree implies that conditions for hiking and skiing are safe and dangerous places are scarce.  Read more here.

Czech government sets out road safety strategy

The number of road fatalities should decrease by half from 2020 to 2030, according to the national strategy of road safety the government approved yesterday.

From 2011 to 2019, 5,419 people died on Czech roads, which was a 46-percent decrease compared with the period from 2001 to 2009. The Czech Republic has about 500 road fatalities per year, which is close to the EU average.

The number of severe injuries caused by road accidents should decrease by one half as well, according to the strategy.

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