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Czech borders should remain closed for one year, says President Miloš Zeman

The Czech border should remain closed for one year to prevent a wave of the new coronavirus epidemic, the Czech President told Radio Frekvence 1

Prague, April 19 (CTK) – The Czech border should remain closed for one year to prevent a wave of the new coronavirus epidemic, which might happen if Czech people visited countries in which the virus still kept spreading, President Miloš Zeman told Radio Frekvence 1 today.

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Zeman called on people to appreciate beautiful Czech landscape. He said he would spend summer in his house in the Vysočina Region again.

The limitations on free movement have been imposed since March 16. People can go abroad only in urgent cases.

Deputy Health Minister Roman Prymula said in March, when he headed the Central Crisis Staff, that foreign travels may be restricted for one or two years.

Health Minister Adam Vojtěch (for ANO) recently said unrestricted travelling abroad cannot be expected this summer season. He said Czechs might go to selected countries in which the epidemiological situation is rather good, such as Croatia and Slovakia.

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Travel agencies, hotels and other businesspeople in tourism asked the government to give at least preliminary dates for the reopening of the border. But the government said it is still impossible to predict the development of the epidemic in Czechia and the other countries.

“We do not know at present whether a second or third wave will come. We may have some plans now, but we will know more at the end of May,” Vojtěch said on Saturday.

Zeman also said today that he confirmed to Russian President Vladimir Putin that he would attend the postponed celebration of the 75th anniversary of the end of World War Two in Moscow. Russia postponed the May 9 celebration because of the coronavirus epidemic and it has not set their new date yet.

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Zeman today defended Presidential Office head Vratislav Mynář who organised a pig slaughtering in his restaurant in southern Moravia without asking the public health office for permission, which is required during the current state of emergency in the country. He said the pig would have died otherwise. It was hungry because it used to eat the leftovers from the restaurant and the restaurant must be closed due to the current restrictive measures, Zeman said.

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