The Government of the Czech Republic has taken the following measures during its meeting on March 24, 2020:
1) An amendment to the Law on the Czech National Bank (CNB), which eases the existing restrictions on open market transactions, has been approved. Thanks to the amendment, the CNB can now trade instruments with maturities of more than one year. Also, the CNB can from now on trade with other entities, for example, with insurance and pension companies or with other institutional investors (normally CNB can trade only with banks, and credit unions). Everything was carried out within the framework of the rules of ECB and the aim of this amendment is to strengthen the stability of the Czech financial Market.
The Government of the Czech Republic has taken the following measures during its meeting on March 23, 2020:
1) Restrictions on free public movement will apply at least until April 1, 2020. All existing restrictions on retail and service sales, presence in restaurants, opening hours of state authorities, etc. are also in force until mentioned date,
2) with effect from March 25, 2020 all shops over 500 m2 are reserved from 8:00am to 10:00am for seniors and disabled persons above 50 years of age. In stores below 500 m2, employees are ordered to give priority to the above-mentioned persons,
3) the Government approved the draft amendment to the State Budget Act for 2020. It counts with total revenues of 1,488.3 billion CZK and expenditures of 1,688.3 billion CZK. The deficit will thus mount to CZK 200 billion (i.e. by 160 billion CZK more than in the originally approved budget). This proposal will be submitted to the Czech Parliament in a speeded-up procedure,
4) proposal to postpone the launch of the final phase of Electronic Sales Control System (EET) until 3 months after the end of the State of emergency,
5) adoption of so-called Liberation packages. Liberation Package I – state will not impose fines for late submission of personal and corporate income tax return, for late payment of a tax claim and for late submission of control tax reports. Liberation Package II - excuse of the June advance on personal and corporate income tax, state will not impose fines for late submission of real estate property tax return, introduction of Loss carry back and suspension of the obligation to electronically record sales for entities in all phases of EET (during state of emergency and following three months),
6) the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports presented a plan on the form of entrance exams for high school, high school graduation exams and final exams for apprenticeships. High school entrance exams for 2020/2021 – will not take place earlier than 14 days from reopening of schools. The form of the exam remains unchanged. High school graduation exams - will not take place earlier than 21 days after the reopening of schools. If schools are reopened after May 1, 2020, the school-leaving certificate will be issued based on the student's results for the last 3 school reports. In case a student failed in the winter term, the school will allow him/her a re-examination. The procedure of final exams for apprenticeships will be similar to high school graduation examination,
7) all self-employed, who have income only from their business, will be given a six-month holiday in the payment of health and social insurance. Holidays cover the amount of the minimum insurance premium, i.e. 4986 CZK,
8) adoption of a program to support companies called “Antivirus” - Government will pay out (through the respective employers) 60% of the average contribution base to employees affected by the quarantine. At the same time the Government will support employers who continue, despite their businesses being shut down, to pay out 100% of the salary to affected employees by covering 80% of salary costs. In case of a supply chain interruption which is crucial for an employer and such employer still pays at least 80 % compensation of standard remuneration to their employees, the State will contribute by 50 % of the compensation. In case the employer is hit by significantly lowered demand on his/her services and such employer pays at least 60 % compensation of standard remuneration, the State will contribute by 50 % of the compensation,
9) approved aid for farmers affected by the epidemic. The measure will allow to postpone the repayment of commercial loans provided by the Support and Guarantee Agrarian and Forestry Fund or to provide guaranteed support for operational funding,
10) new measure taken due to problems with cross-border workers. When returning to the Czech Republic, they will automatically have to submit to a fourteen-day quarantine. In practice, this will mean that if a cross-border worker does not want to be exposed to a risk of quarantine, he will be forced to find a temporary accommodation at his place of work for the necessary period,
11) the fees for sending data messages were cancelled and the salary raise of employees of regional hygienic stations was adopted.
Source: The Government of the Czech Republic
Prepared by the team of CzechTrade / CzechInvest Israel