Prague, April 9 (CTK) – The Czech cabinet today extended the national state of emergency over the coronavirus epidemic until April 30, PM Andrej Babiš (ANO) told CTK.
The state of emergency has been in force since March 12, 14:00, and it was to expire this Saturday, April 11. In accordance with law, the cabinet asked the Chamber of Deputies to nod to a prolongation of the emergency, which the Chamber did on Tuesday.
The cabinet can declare the state of emergency for 30 days at the most, and is bound to seek the lower house’s consent to any further prolongation.
Last week, the minority government of ANO and the Social Democrats (CSSD) applied for the lower house to prolong the national emergency by another month, until May 11, in accordance with the Central Crisis Staff’s recommendation.
Political parties, nevertheless, preferred a shorter extension. The proposal to prolong the emergency until April 30 only was first made by Vojtech Filip, leader of the Communists (KSCM) who prop up the Babiš cabinet in parliament.
Based on the national state of emergency, the cabinet initially issued anti-epidemic measures such as a restriction of people’s free movement and the closure of a majority of retail shops and services.
Later the cabinet changed the status of the measures to base them on the public health protection law instead of the national emergency law.
The state of emergency is a regime the state declares in serious situations endangering people’s lives or property, or the country’s internal order and security. It enables the state to buy medical protective equipment promptly, without respecting the law on public procurement.