Czech government to support businesses, families in coronavirus fight

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The Czech government is enacting a variety of measures to save its economy and support its citizens following the coronavirus outbreak, including the promise of a financial contribution to parents of children under 13 years of age and wage compensation for employees and business owners affected by the restrictive coronavirus measures implemented in the country.

So far, only parents of children up to 10 years of age have received the financial contribution, but the government is now set to extend this contribution to the parents of children 13 or younger who had to stay at home for childcare.

In the case of single parents, the government decided to support parents of children up to 16 years of age.

The government will also compensate wage costs to business owners whose employees had to stay in quarantine ordered by the government. Furthermore, it will also reimburse 80 percent of wages to workers in businesses that had to close due to measures introduced by the government.

The government further earmarked 10 billion korunas (€370.2 million) in interest-free loans for entrepreneurs.

Another governmental measure reserves grocery stores and drug stores for pensioners between 7 a.m. and 9 a.m in order to protect the Czech Republic’s most vulnerable citizens. Citizens under the age of 65 cannot enter these shops during this time frame.

However, the Civic Democrats (ODS) want to go one step further. They propose that all people affected by the preventive measures introduced by the government should receive compensation of 15,000 korunas (€552).

So far, the number of people infected with the coronavirus in the Czech Republic has reached 774. According to statistics, the Czech Republic is the only country in the world that registers such a high number of confirmed cases without a single death.

But this could change soon, according to Czech President Miloš Zeman, with Zeman commenting on the current situation in his speech to the nation.

The president urged people not to panic and recalled that three people have already been cured of the infection, however, he added that he expected the first casualties in the coming days.

In his speech, Zeman stressed that Czechs should avoid two extremes.

“The first one is that you will make light of the epidemic. The other extreme is to panic. As I said many times before, fear weakens us, and I would like to encourage you to be brave,” urged Zeman.

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