The result of today's negotiations between the governors and the government coalition is the declaration of a state of emergency for another 14 days, i.e. until 28 February. If no state of emergency had not been declared, it would have ended at midnight today. With the new state of emergency now in force, shops and other services that have been closed won't be reopened yet, which also applies to the much-discussed mountain resorts. Nevertheless, some sub-regulations are being amended.
One of the things about to change is the operation of state authorities, which will now be open according to their usual office hours, not in a restricted mode. Libraries will newly be partially open, handing out books through dispensing windows, and commission exams can be taken in schools. Among the discussed conditions set by the governors was also the gradual return of pupils to schools from March 1, preferential vaccination of teachers, opening of shops with specific hygiene rules or support for testing in companies.
On Thursday, the opposition still continued to demand that the government be held responsible for the state of emergency and meet the proposed conditions under which opposition parties would be willing to support the extension of the state of emergency in the Chamber. However, Andrej Babiš's government, did not find support in the Chamber of Deputies. Thus, after Thursday evening's voting, speculation began about the possibility that the governors of individual regions would have to take matters in their own hands. However, in the end, the governors decided not to make use of the legislative framework available to them even outside the state of emergency and asked the government to declare a 14-day state of national emergency again, transferring responsibility back to the government itself. The whole rollecoaster gets even wilder when you consider that the governors themselves - often representatives of opposition political parties - often technically voted against the members of thee parties in Thursday's vote. After Sunday's meeting, Prime Minister Andrej Babiš said:
"I have good news for Czech citizens. Following negotiations with the governors, the government declared a state of emergency from Monday. The situation isn't good, the British strain is spreading in the Czech Republic."
The government is adamant that the declaration of a state of emergency is in accordance with the constitution, although some people, such as the chairman of the upper chamber of the Parliament of the Czech Republic, Miloš Vystrčil, have a legal opinion claiming the opposite. However, the government fights back with the interpretation of its own lawyers. The Constitutional Court will decide whether the declaration of a state of emergency is unconstitutional under these circumstances. However, experts warn that this move could cause a constitutional crisis. However, as a result, according to Prime Minister Babiš, not much will change during these fourteen transitional days. He literally said:
The leaders of the opposition parties reiterated that they were willing to negotiate with the government on the conditions for a possible further extension. Thus, the Chamber of Deputies is in for another fierce struggle over whether this situation will continue during March. However, the negotiations will be very demanding, mainly due to mutual finger-pointing between the ruling ANO and the CSSD and the opposition parties.
"We have to deal with the epidemic at our own risk. People's trust is key. If people don't work together, we won't move anywhere. "