Czech Republic

  1. French overseas virus hotspots - and other Europe news

    A Montpellier cinema checks customers for their vaccine status, 29 Jul 21
    Image caption: A Montpellier cinema checks customers for their vaccine status

    France is seeing some setbacks in its battle with Covid, but the picture is brighter in some other countries.

    • France is reimposing lockdown rules in two overseas territories – Martinique in the Caribbean and La Reunion in the Indian Ocean – where infection rates are much higher that in mainland France. Martinique’s rate is 995 per 100,000 of the population, and La Reunion, a Beta (South African) variant hotspot, has a rate of 350. The mainland rate is 189, Le Figaro reports
    • The UK government’s worries about the Beta variant mean that visitors from France, even those fully vaccinated, have to quarantine for 10 days. Studies suggest Beta may be more resistant to vaccines. About 52% of people in France are now fully vaccinated, but vaccination rates in the French Caribbean are much lower. The number of Covid patients in intensive care has risen above 1,000 again in France
    • Portugal will start easing its Covid rules in phases from Sunday, citing progress in vaccinations. Shops and restaurants will be able to stay open until 2am and working from home will no longer be compulsory. The authorities aim to have 57% of the population fully vaccinated by Sunday
    • Germany's federal authorities have asked the regions to give back tens of thousands of unused vaccine doses, so that they can be sent to other countries and not wasted. The surplus has built up because of lower demand, now that so many people have had the jab
    • The Czech government says it will give civil servants who get vaccinated an extra two days of holiday. “I have not found other ways of motivating people to get vaccinated,” said PM Andrej Babis. The anti-vaxxer movement is strong in the Czech Republic
    Chart showing countries with highest Covid cases in Europe
  2. Video content

    Video caption: Czech women seek compensation for coerced sterilisations

    Thousands of women were sterilised without their consent in former Czechoslovakia in the 1970s and 1980s.

  3. Video content

    Video caption: Czech Republic: Tornado fells trees then smashes eyewitness's window

    Video shows the tornado tearing through part of the Czech Republic and the devastation left behind.

  4. Video content

    Video caption: Powerful tornado filmed in Czech Republic

    A powerful tornado has swept through several villages in the south-eastern Czech Republic, injuring 150 people and causing major damage, local media say.

  5. Czech masks in schools and Spanish football scare: Latest across Europe

    A child performs an antigen rapid test at a re-opened elementary school, as restrictions ease following the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak in Prague, Czech Republic, April 12, 2021
    Image caption: Czech primary schools reopened in April and today they can drop their masks in class

    Czech children and schoolteachers will no longer have to wear masks in classrooms from this morning, in all but three regions. Masks are still required in the rest of school. More than 45% of adults have had a first dose in the Czech Republic and the government says it’s allowing non-essential travel from across the EU as well as Serbia from 21 June as long as proof of vaccination, negative test or previous infection is provided.

    Days before Spain’s national football team takes part in the Euro 2020 championships, the team may now have to be vaccinated after one of the players, Sergio Busquets, tested positive for Covid. The squad and coaching staff have all tested negative. Spain continue their warm-up for the tournament today with a game against Lithuania. Spain reopened its borders to tourists and cruise ships yesterday for fully vaccinated people – although the UK requires quarantine for any visitor to Spain on their return.

    French President Emmanuel Macron meets restaurateurs today, the day before indoor dining reopens in bars and restaurants after seven months of closure. Gyms will also start reopening tomorrow and the overnight curfew will be pushed back from 21:00 to 23:00.

    From tomorrow, wearing masks will no longer be required in Belgium’s Brussels region, although will still be compulsory in busy places, inside shops and on public transport.

    Health experts in Serbia say the pandemic is causing a regional shortage of anti-venom serum for snakebites. The main supplier, Serbia’s Torlak Institute, has not produced any doses this year, as it concentrates on production of the Sputnik V coronavirus vaccine. The European adder is widespread in the region.

  6. What's happening around Europe?

    Czech Prime Minister Andrej Babis (L) and Czech Health Minister Adam Vojtech during their press conference at government headquarter in Prague on March 03, 2020
    Image caption: Adam Vojtech (R) quit last September after leading the initial response to Covid

    The Czech government today appoints its fourth health minister since the Covid pandemic began. Adam Vojtech was actually health minister at the start of the crisis and was widely praised for his performance but resigned because of a row over masks with the prime minister, Andrej Babis. The man Vojtech replaces - hospital director and plastic surgeon Petr Arenberger - has stood down following media reports into extensive property holdings he didn’t declare before he was appointed.

    Germany’s seven-day incidence rate has fallen below 50 cases per 100,000 people for the first time since October last year. The RKI public health institute says it’s now at 46.8. Another 2,626 cases have been reported in the past 24 hours.

    France’s academy of medicine has called for compulsory Covid vaccinations for a series of professions, including education, health and security and emergency services. It’s also recommended that jobs that involve contact with the public, such as hotel and catering, should require the Covid jab, as well as for anyone donating blood or organs.

    Serbia and Slovenia have agreed to mutually recognise each other’s coronavirus vaccination certificates. The deal covers vaccines yet to be approved by the EMA. The Sinopharm vaccine has been the most widely-used in Serbia, and the non-EU country has also begun producing Russia’s Sputnik V.

    Sweden’s state epidemiologist Anders Tegnell is confident infections are in decline, partly because of vaccinations and warmer weather allowing people to head outdoors. In some areas including Stockholm cases have fallen by 40% in a week. Tegnell says it’s a similar pattern to last year and he believes the decline will continue.