Prague, Czech Republic – The Czech Republic will most likely end the state of emergency at the end of this month after government leaders announced they were not in favour of extending it a second time.

During on an interview on TV Prima, Prime Minister Andrej Babis said there was no reason to extend the state of emergency beyond the due date of April 30, which falls on Thursday next week.

Interior Minister and head of the junior partner in the governing coalition Jan Hamacek (CSSD, Social Democrats) had previously argued in favour of the state of emergency being extended once more, but said that there was no reason to put the matter before Parliament given the Prime Minister and his ANO party’s decision not to.

The Czech Republic initially declared a 30-day state of emergency on March 13 and introduced a series of restrictive measures to contain the spread of coronavirus. At the request of the government, the Parliament then extended it until the end of April.

The decision not to extend the state of emergency is in line with the government’s efforts to plan a lockdown exit strategy for a return back to normal by the end of May or early June.

A few days ago, Czech authorities unveiled a 5-step plan gradually reopening shops, businesses and activities over the next few weeks.

At the time of writing, the Czech Republic had slightly more than 7,000 confirmed cases of Covid-19 infection. The death toll stood at more than 200.

Headed by Kafkadesk's chief-editor Jules Eisenchteter, our Prague office gathers over half a dozen reporters, editors and contributors, as well as our social media team. It covers everything Czech and Slovak-related, and oversees operations from our other Central European desks in Krakow and Budapest.