Restrictive measures are likely to continue. The governors will ask the government for a fortnight’s state of emergency

Some governors have called on the government to amend measures against the spread of covid-19. According to Hamáček, the government will consult with the region on changes to the measure. The association of regions stated in a statement after the meeting that the restriction of office hours of public administration institutions should be lifted from Monday, children should start returning to schools from March 1, and the state should provide testing in companies.

On Thursday, the Chamber of Deputies rejected the extension of the state of emergency, which is now linked to government measures against the spread of the disease. The current state of emergency will end today at midnight. The only solution to the situation, Prime Minister Andrej Babiš, was that the governors would ask the cabinet to declare a new state of emergency. “Today we agreed that we will ask all governors to declare a state of emergency,” Vondrák wrote after today’s meeting.

In an open letter to Babiš and the ministers, the President of the Senate, Miloš Vystrčil, described the possible re-declaration of a state of emergency immediately after the disagreement of the Chamber of Deputies as unconstitutional. Also, according to some constitutional lawyers, the re-declaration of a state of emergency is inadmissible bypassing the Chamber.

The Deputy Prime Minister and head of the Central Crisis Staff, Hamáček, stated that all regions had agreed to continue the state of emergency. “The priority is to return to schools, any changes to the measures will be consulted with the regions,” he wrote to ČTK. On Twitter, Hamáček thanked the governors for correct and factual negotiations on the way forward in a situation that is very difficult from an epidemiological point of view.

The governors demand that the children start returning to school on March 1. The South Bohemian governor and chairman of the Association of Regions of the Czech Republic, Martin Kuba, told ČTK today. By the same date, the government is to ensure that companies can start testing employees for covid-19 and receive money from the state. Office hours in offices should be extended so that no queues are formed. The governors also want the government to inform them how to loosen the rules in trade and services.

The governor of Pardubice, Martin Netolický, stated today that the regions are requesting, for example, the return of graduation years and ninth grades to schools. “We demand that the government communicate to the public the plan for the coming days and weeks regarding the release of some measures,” he said. The South Moravian governor Jan Grolich also said that the priority is the return of pupils to schools, which would be delayed without a state of emergency. According to him, the governors give the government 14 days and wait for them to keep their promises, otherwise they will lose their trust.

Today, at 2:00 pm, the government will meet extraordinarily to resolve the situation around the state of emergency. The chairman of the Association of Regions Martin Kuba and the heads of all regional hygienic stations will also be invited to the meeting. According to Babiš, the cabinet should decide on measures so that citizens know as soon as possible what rules will apply from Monday.

Members of the government have already discussed with the governors about a possible request for a new declaration of a state of emergency on Saturday evening, but to no avail. The governors were not originally united on the question of whether to ask the government to declare a state of emergency. Prior to Saturday’s talks with the government, those representing the government’s YES and CSSD were the main ones, while some of the opposition parties were preparing to declare a state of danger in their regions.

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