A demonstration by the Chcípl PES initiative against the approval of the government’s amendment to the pandemic law was held on Malostranské náměstí in Prague in front of the Chamber of Deputies on Tuesday morning. The amendment is expected to be discussed by MPs after a postponement from last week. In addition to banners, people brought mock-ups of gallows, symbolizing the pandemic law, on which they hung bags with the words “Economy” or “Education.”
The organizing initiative plans to protest on the square until the law is finished being debated, and also plans to hold a protest by cars in Prague on Tuesday.
The amendment foresees that anti-coronavirus emergency measures issued under the pandemic law will be able to include restrictions in a broader range of activities than now. For example, authorities will also order COVID-19 testing for businesses, students, and preschoolers, not just employees and other workers. According to the draft, public health authorities will also notify people by phone or text message when they order isolation or quarantine.
The Ministries of Defence and Home Affairs are also given the ability to issue measures for their departments. The cabinet wants the lower house to approve the pandemic amendment expeditiously in a state of legislative emergency. The essential parts of the law on the possibility of issuing anti-virus restrictions expire on the last day of February under the current situation.
Fiala said the government coalition had agreed to limit the pandemic law’s validity this year. The cabinet had initially been proposed that anti-coronavirus emergency measures could be issued indefinitely. The health committee had earlier recommended limiting the temporal validity of the essential part of the law to the end of November.