Office of the Government
Non-state owners of immovable cultural heritage sites that are normally accessible to the public will now also be entitled to financial assistance from the state for ordered closures. The extension of the Covid – Culture subsidy programme to these entities was approved by the government of Andrej Babiš at a meeting on Monday 14 June 2021. The government meeting was preceded by a meeting of cabinet members and representatives of the Association of Regions of the Czech Republic.
Non-state owners and operators of castles, chateaus, religious buildings and open-air museums will be able to receive reimbursement from the state of up to 80 per cent of the operating costs related to the operation of immovable cultural heritage sites for 2020, in the form of a lump sum from the difference between tickets sold in 2019 for the months of March, April, May, October, November and December and in 2020 for the same period. A single business entity that operates a publicly accessible immovable cultural heritage site on a year-round or seasonal basis, other than state-owned immovable cultural heritage sites made available for admission fees, will be eligible to receive up to four million crowns. This will be made possible by an extension of the Ministry of Industry and Trade’s Covid – Culture subsidy programme, which the Government has agreed to.
The Government also approved a new draft act on special voting methods for the 2021 elections to the Chamber of Deputies of the Parliament of the Czech Republic, which is intended to allow voters to exercise their right to vote in the October parliamentary elections, even if quarantine or isolation has been ordered. In these cases, the draft provides, similarly to the case of last year’s regional and Senate elections, for example, for drive-in voting, voting in a portable ballot box or voting in a closed residential facility. The new act would only be applied to elections if a state of pandemic alert or emergency declared in at least part of the country is still in effect on 15 September. For details, see the Interior Ministry press release (in Czech language).
The Cabinet also approved a plan for bilateral foreign development cooperation for 2022. The 2022 budget proposes CZK 987.166 million for this development assistance, which the Czech Republic will implement mainly in priority countries – Bosnia and Herzegovina, Ethiopia, Georgia, Cambodia, Moldova and Zambia.
The Government also approved an increase in the budget of the Prague Castle Administration by CZK 200 million. This is to compensate for the shortfall in the Prague Castle Administration’s income due to the Government’s anti-epidemic measures, when social and other commercial events could not be held at Prague Castle and income from rentals and tourism fell.
The Government also discussed changes to the Ministry of Health’s emergency measures. As of Tuesday 15 June, stricter rules for wearing respiratory protection in schools and workplaces in the South Bohemia, Liberec and Zlín regions will be abolished. The conditions for ordering isolation and quarantine have also been modified. Among the exemptions from the quarantine and isolation regulation, holders of a certificate of vaccination are added, also for certificates from EU countries and other countries with a low risk of infection, but on the other hand, the existing exemption for persons who have undergone the first dose of the two-dose vaccination scheme is abolished. Those who are 14 days post-vaccination will not have to quarantine or isolate. The testing requirements for students in higher education are also changing, extending the validity of RT-PCR tests to seven days, and tests performed on the job and self-tests will be accepted.
The Government agreed to further loosen the rules for retail and service activities, starting from 1 July. Among the changes are, for example, an increase in the maximum number of customers per establishment, or in zoos, museums and castles, the end of the ban on live music in restaurants or discos, an increase in the limit of the permitted capacity of swimming pools, spas and saunas to 75 per cent and the end of the obligation for hairdressers and pedicurists to serve in a one-on-one mode and keep a register of customers.
The maximum number of persons allowed at leisure events for children and young people and for the organisation of social, dance, cultural or sporting events will be increased to 500 indoors and 1,000 outdoors. For children’s camps and similar long-term events, the obligation to retest after seven days is abolished, provided that all participants who are obliged to be tested undergo an RT-PCR test only before departure. The number of spectators allowed at concerts and other cultural, sporting and educational events will also be increased to 5,000 outside and 2,000 inside, and standing spectators will be allowed on the condition of one spectator per four metres of standing area. For more information, see the Ministry of Health press release (in Czech language).
The Government also took note of the annual report on the state of public procurement. Despite the impact of the Covid-19 epidemic, the public procurement market grew by 38 billion crowns. The details are contained in a press release from the Ministry of Regional Development (in Czech languge).
Prior to the government meeting, a meeting of ministers with representatives of the Association of Regions of the Czech Republic took place. On the agenda was the financing of regional investments in the construction or reconstruction of roads of the second and third classes, the financing of social services, the distribution of funds from the REACT-EU programme and the National Recovery Plan, and the further functioning of testing and vaccination centres and laboratories processing samples. Among other matters, the regions have been promised CZK 569 million in additional funding for social services, and a backbone network of laboratories is to be established. More on the points made by the Ministry of Regional Development (in Czech language).
Autor: Office of the Government