Pandemic Law and Compensation Deal Approved by Chamber of Deputies
Following the approval of the pandemic law, the Ministry of Health will be able to impose further anti-epidemic measures outside of a state of emergency, such as restricting services and events. The new compensation bonus bill will reimburse individuals who have suffered financially due to the coronavirus with CZK 1000 CZK per day. Photo credit: Psp.cz Archive.
Czech Rep., Feb 18 (BD) – The Chamber of Deputies has passed the so-called pandemic law proposed by the Czech government, and approved an amendment to the compensation bonus bill. The pandemic law will allow the Ministry of Health to restrict trade, services, public and private events, swimming pools and manufacturing facilities at a regional and national level without the need for a state of emergency.
The pandemic law is intended to replace the state of emergency, which should last no longer than the end of February. 132 deputies voted in favour of the law, from all parties except the far-right SPD. Deputies of the Communist Party, smaller far-right parties and independents also voted against, and some Communists also abstained. The law remains to be approved by the Senate and signed by President Zeman.
The state of emergency could therefore end next Friday. “We assume that the law should be published next Friday and end the state of emergency. It is the most sensible way to end another senseless prolongation of the state of emergency, to remove constitutional uncertainty and at the same time give everyone, the government, the regions and others, enough time to prepare,” said Petr Fiala, leader of ODS.
The new compensation bonus bill is technically a refund of income tax for entrepreneurs whose livelihoods were affected by the anti-epidemic measures. The legislation doubled the available remuneration, meaning entrepreneurs can claim compensation of CZK 1000 per day. The Ministry of Finance estimates that the bill will cost around CZK 19.4 billion.
“Of course they will have to prove that their income has been harmed, and they can’t receive it twice. Those who have already received compensation will have to deduct that,” said Prime Minister Andrej Babiš (ANO). Applicants must also have Czech health insurance.