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 the representative office in Prague, Vladimír Doboš (picture right), reports on the current situation.
For the first quarter of this year, the Czech economy recorded a decline of 2 percent compared to the same period last year.
Trade associations are forecasting a decline in GDP of 7.5 and 8 percent in 2020, respectively. Since the Czech Republic is an export country, demand from abroad and the associated willingness to invest in the second half of the year will be decisive for the country's post-crisis development. In April, export-oriented companies experienced a slump in exports of up to 35 percent due to the Corona-related lockdown. How quickly the country as a whole can recover from the crisis will also depend on the order situation of the major exporters.
In the course of the easing of some lockdown measures, the Czech Republic is gradually returning to normal. Despite isolated hotspots where the virus is still present, most regions have not recorded any new infections. The government's corona crisis team has already ended its activities.
Unemployment in the country has hardly changed compared to the previous quarter and stood at 3.6 percent in May. According to analysts, however, the recession is not expected to bottom out until the second and third quarters. According to estimates, the economic downturn is then expected to be in the double-digit range.
Social life is picking up speed again. From 22 June onwards, events with up to 1,000 participants will again be permitted. If the events are divided into separate sectors, such as football stadiums or trade fairs, the number of participants can even be as high as 5000.
Implementation of security measures
The obligation to wear protective masks expired in the Czech Republic at the end of June. Since 1 July, there is a general obligation to wear masks only in social and health facilities. However, there are still exceptions in the Moravian-Silesian district and in the city of Prague. For events (>100 persons) in closed rooms and in the underground, masks are still mandatory.
The implementation of security measures is not centrally controlled by the government. Instead, local authorities weigh up which measures are considered sensible and act accordingly. Furthermore, the security measures are to be regarded as recommendations rather than guidelines.
According to the EU traffic light system, Czech citizens are allowed to enter almost all European countries according to the current risk level without controls and restrictions.
Source: Port of Hamburg