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Uncertainty looms over Czech Republic’s state of emergency extension

Prague, Czech Republic – The latest developments have cast some doubt on whether or not the Czech Republic will decide to prolong the state of emergency next month.

Initially declared for a 30-day period on March 12 to tackle the Covid-19 crisis and introduce special measures to prevent the spread of the virus, the state of emergency was prolonged a first time earlier this month until April 30 by MP’s at the request of the government.

Despite declaring that, given the current state of the epidemic and the need to reopen the economy as soon as possible, there was no reason to extend it beyond its due date, Prime Minister Andrej Babis and his government eventually supported the Health Minister’s motion to ask Parliament – under Czech law, the approval of lawmakers is needed – for a second extension, until May 25.

But on Sunday, the PM said on Czech Television that there wasn’t enough support in the Chamber of Deputies to prolong the current state of emergency.

If the motion fails to gather sufficient parliamentary support, this would “more or less mean the abolition of all the measures”, according to Babis.

Czech lawmakers, some of whom have asked for more detailed arguments from cabinet to justify the extension, are set to decide on the state of emergency on Tuesday.

If the motion failed to pass, this would be the second setback for the government in only a few days, after the Municipal Court in Prague ruled last Thursday that a set of restrictive anti-coronavirus measures introduced by the government were unlawfully implemented.

More on the latest coronavirus measures and lockdown exit strategy in the Czech Republic right here.

Main photo credit: Andrej Babis official Facebook page

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