Pursuant to the Constitutional Act on National Security, starting on 5 October 2020 at 0:00 AM, the Government of the Czech Republic has for the second time this year declared a state of emergency throughout the entire Czech Republic for a period of 30 days. The state of emergency was extended two times, at first till 20 November 2020 and now till 12 December 2020.
Restrictions on the entry to the Czech Republic were put into force. All foreigners from countries, which are not on the list of the countries with low risk of incidence of COVID-19, are banned from entering the territory of the Czech Republic, the exemptions being among other citizens from the EU-member countries, visa holders or family members.
The filing of residence permit applications has been interrupted in diplomatic missions in the countries, which are not countries with low incidence of COVID-19. Exempt from the interruption are e.g. seasonal workers, workers in key sectors and Ukrainian citizens, if their application was filed in Ukraine.
On 21 October, the Government has issued a crisis measure which restricted the free movement of people, with the exceptions being travels to the work and necessary travels in order to ensure the basic needs. On 26 October, the free movement of people was fully banned between 21:00 and 4:59, except for the necessary cases. All business premises save for shops and services providing for basic human needs are closed from 22 October. Starting from 28 October, retail stores were banned from operation on Sundays and between 8 pm and 5 am. Alongside that, wearing of face masks in public transport and inside of premises is mandatory since 13 October 2020 and since 21 October also in the territory of municipalities, if the 2 meter distance cannot be kept. All public events have been cancelled, only allowed are outside gathering up to 100 persons with groups of 20 participants, separated by distance of 2 meters.
Extension of Competence for the Health Minister
The Chamber of Deputies is again operating in the state of legislative emergency in order to speed up the adoption of legislative measures aiming to mitigate the negative impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The parliament will again discuss the govenrment's bill of the Act on Extraordinary Measures During the Epidemic of the COVID-19 sisease. The Bill was originally proposed in May, but its approval has been since delayed with regards to the progression of the COVID-19 situation at the time. The Act extends the competences of the Health Ministry and supplements the Act on the Public Health Protection.
As a result, should the bill be approved, the Health Ministry will have the competence to issue measures for set time after previous consent of the government event after the end of the state of emergency. In this regard, it is expected that the measures will command certain activities or limit or prohibit some services. The proposal considers in particular the sectors of public transport, commerce, manufacturing, malls, hairdresser establishments and similar services, public swimming pools, public gatherings and events and universities.
The bill reflects the situation from April 23, when the Municipal Court in Prague revoked extraordinary measures of the Health Ministry on limiting of free movement, retail and services on the ground that it views it as unlawful.