Foreigners will not be able to enter the country for the duration of the 30-day state of emergency declared on March 12th.
On Thursday, the government in Prague declared a 30-day state of emergency. It banned public events of more than 30 people and ordered the closure of sports centers, spa services, and galleries. The government also mandated restaurants and pubs to close down by 8:00 pm from Friday onward.
This is an unprecedented measure in connection with the coronavirus epidemic. There was no end date to the measures specified during the conference. The government has suspended issuing visas and residence permits. The only exceptions are foreigners with temporary residence for over 90 days in the Czech Republic and foreigners with permanent residence (NOT student visas or long-term residence permits).
Furthermore, anyone returning to the Czech Republic from the following risk countries must undergo a 14 day quarantine: Austria, Belgium, China, Denmark, France, Germany, Greece, Iran, Italy, Japan, Netherlands, Norway, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, UK and USA.
Exceptions for entry to the country will be allowed for several professions, such as truck drivers, to ensure that the supply chain will not be interrupted, and people who commute to work across the borders.
In addition, the Czech police are now being deployed to check whether people who have been ordered into quarantine are staying indoors. The army has also been called to oversee and help with border control.
Other measures in capital city Prague and stimulus packages for business
Mayor of the Prague announced that from 17.3.2020 it will be possible to travel by public transport in Prague only with a covered face.
In the next few days, the Czech Ministry of Finance (MF) will present the exact parameters of its liberation package for entrepreneurs and natural entities. Its objectives will be to mitigate the impact of the current situation caused by the dissemination of the coronavirus and to minimise the need to visit tax offices. The main measures will include a blanket pardon of the fine for late submission of a natural entity’s income tax return and late-payment interest, at the latest until July 1, 2020. They also include waiving the fine for a late
tax claim and the fine for not submitting a control statement if related to the coronavirus, a blanket pardon of a second fine for not submitting a control statement in the amount of CZK 1,000 for 2020, and a blanket 75% waiving of the administrative fee for submitting an application for tax deferment or payment in instalments.
At its extraordinary meeting on March 12, 2020, the presidium of the Czech Banking Association (ČBA) agreed that it was a suitable instrument in substantiated cases to provide clients with the possibility of a three-month deferment of instalments of mortgage and consumer loans. Primarily, banks will focus on ordinary citizens and clients from the ranks of small-sized entrepreneurs and sole traders. With this measure, the ČBA is trying to mitigate the economic impacts of the current coronavirus epidemic on its clients.
The Czech Chamber of Commerce (HK ČR) has proposed to the government the introduction of interest-free loans starting from CZK 50,000 with an instalment deferment by at least one year because companies would be without income but still would have to cover expenses related to their business and employee wages.
Source: Prague Morning, www.cianews.cz
Prepared by the team of foreign office CzechTrade Jakarta, Indonesia