COVID-19 Updates

Government and epidemiologists agree on school reopening plan

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The Czech government and epidemiologists agreed on the loosening of regulations concerning schools, Prime Minister Andrej Babis (ANO) told the public broadcaster Czech Television (CT) tonight.

“We did not discuss schools at the cabinet meeting [on Tuesday] very much because I tried to find a consensus of the views of the epidemiologists, the coalition partner [Social Democrats, CSSD] and individual cabinet members on Monday, and finally it was achieved,” Babis said.

The only education issue that the cabinet dealt with was why students of the second stage of basic education aged from 12 to 15 would not be allowed to go to school in groups as well.

Schools in the Czech Republic have been closed since March 11 due to the new coronavirus epidemic. University students who plan to graduate this year may return to universities under restricted conditions already next week. If the epidemic develops well in the country, secondary schools will reopen on May 11 for students who plan to undergo the final exams this year. On May 25, primary schools will reopen for smaller groups of pupils. Students of the second stage of elementary schools and secondary school students who are not in their final year are likely to return to schools the last.

Babis said the cabinet talked for some time about weddings. As of Monday, weddings with up to ten participants will be permitted. Larger weddings will be allowed as of June 8.

Babis said the cabinet forgot to decide on the renewal of religious services.

Interior Minister Jan Hamacek (CSSD), who heads the Central Crisis Staff, said today he would present a plan for the permission of religious services to the government.

Babis told CT that he donated one million crowns for one medical ventilator, bought face masks and a thermal camera. He said he has been helping people all the time.

He also said he would like to find a different model for people who commute across the border.

Babis said he wanted to talk about the possibility of people being allowed to go abroad for a longer time with Hamacek.

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