• 03. Juli 2020
  • 12:34
  • Economy

Czech Republic is gradually returning to normal

The Czech Republic is gradually returning to normal after almost three months of lockdown. Nevertheless, the consequences of the crisis are particularly noticeable in the economy. The head of our representative office in Prague, Vladim√≠r DoboŇ°, reports on the current situation.
 
The Czech economy recorded a decline of 2 percent in the first quarter of this year compared to the same period last year.
 
Business associations forecast a 7.5 or 8 percent decline in GDP in 2020. As the Czech Republic is an exporting country, demand from abroad and the associated willingness to invest in the second half of the year will be decisive for the country's development after the crisis. In April, export-oriented companies recorded a drop in exports of up to 35 percent due to the corona-related lockdown. How quickly the whole country can recover from the crisis will also depend on the order situation of the major exporters.
 
With some easing, the Czech Republic is gradually returning to normal. Despite isolated hotspots where the virus is still present, most regions have no new infections. The government's corona crisis team has already ceased to operate.
 
Unemployment in the country has hardly changed compared to the previous quarter and stood at 3.6 percent in May. According to analysts, the lowest point of the recession is not expected until the second and third quarters. According to estimates, the economic downturn is expected to be in the double-digit range.
 
Social life is picking up speed again. From June 22nd events with up to 1,000 participants are allowed again. With a division into separate sectors, e.g. in football stadiums or at trade fairs, there can even be up to 5,000 participants.
 
The obligation to wear protective masks expired in the Czech Republic at the end of June. Since July 1st, only in social and health facilities there is a general obligation to wear a mask. There are also exceptions in the Moravian-Silesian region and in the city of Prague. At events (> 100 participants) in closed rooms and in the subway, a mask is still required.
 
The government does not centrally implement security measures. Instead, it is locally determined which measures are sensible and to act accordingly. In addition, the security measures should be considered as recommendations rather than guidelines.
 
According to the EU traffic light system, Czech citizens can enter almost all European countries according to the current risk level without controls and restrictions.
 

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