TOURISM Prague Castle announces change to ticket prices
The Prague Castle Administration (SPH) announced today that, from the start of March, it would change the structure of its price list for visitors. “Higher operating costs and inflation force the SPH to look for additional sources of financial income,” the administration’s director Jan Novák said.
The basic visitor tour – encompassing the Old Royale Palace, St. George Basicilia, and the Cathedral of St. Vitus – will remain the same price, at CZK 250. The Story of Prague Castle tour and the Prague Castle Picture Gallery will be combined into a new package, the basic entrance fee for which will be CZK 200. Currently, a ticket for each of them separately is CZK 150.
HEALTH Respiratory infections keep rising across Czechia
Recent data from the State Institute of Health shows that acute respiratory cases in the Czech Republic are continuing to increase. Last week the country registered 1,400 cases of respiratory infections per 100,000 people – 3.6 percent more week on week. Ministry of Health statistics also show that the incidence of new Covid-19 infections grew from about 2,000 weekly in late January to over 6,500 in the most recent week. Hospitalizations have also roughly doubled since last month – however, they are over 80 percent lower year on year.
FLIGHTS Strike complicates air travel from Czechia
Czechia was today affected by a mass strike from airline and airport workers in Germany, which led to over 300 flights to or from Germany being canceled. The strikes took place at the Düsseldorf and Cologne Bonn airports.
A flight from the German city of Düsseldorf to Prague was this morning canceled, and an evening flight between both cities has also been grounded. The German-based workers demand a 10-percent pay rise, Euronews writes. According to the trade union organizing the protest, Verdi, a pay agreement is a long way off. More strikes are therefore expected.
PRAGUE Prague government to meet for the first time today
Prague’s newly elected councilors will today hold their first governmental meeting, where they will primarily discuss operational aspects of running the capital. This meeting comes after five months of back-and-forth negotiations between representatives of the Spolu coalition, Pirates, and STAN, who collectively have a majority of 36 seats in the 65-member council. The ANO movement, Praha Sobě, and Freedom and Direct Democracy party are in opposition.
ENERGY Czech energy giant announces new nuclear plans
News agency AFP reports that Czech state-run energy conglomerate CEZ said today that it planned to launch its first small modular nuclear reactor (SMR) in a decade and another two by 2040. SMRs are high-tech nuclear reactors that have a lower power-generation capacity than traditional nuclear power reactors, and are therefore more environmentally friendly. The first SMR will be built at Temelín, and the other two at its current coal-fired power plants in Vysočina in South Bohemia.
WEATHER Chilly week awaits Czechia
Following a freezing weekend that saw the north of the country get up to 30 centimeters of snow, slightly warmer days await Czechia this week, although temperatures will stay cold. North Bohemia and Liberec experienced heavy snowfall Saturday and Sunday, with the capital only getting a light dusting.
This week, maximum daytime temperatures in Prague will be between 3 and 6 degrees Celsius, and temperatures during the night will be below freezing all week. Plenty of sun, however, is expected in Prague this week with minimal rainfall.
DIPLOMACY Czech ForMin wants Prague-Delhi direct flight
Czech Foreign Minister Jan Lipavský has commenced his trip to India, where he will discuss various diplomatic topics such as opening a consular office in Mumbai and shortening the time it takes to issue visas for citizens of both countries. Lipavský also told reporters he would encourage setting up a direct flight from Delhi to Prague. The defense industry of both countries and tourism will also be discussed.
Skygazing Northern lights appear in Czechia
People in the north of Bohemia Sunday evening could see the northern lights (or the aurora borealis) as a result of a geomagnetic storm, according to the Czech Hydrometeorological Institute. They may be even more visible Tuesday night. Seeing the natural phenomenon in the Czech Republic is particularly rare given Czechia’s distance from the Arctic. Read more in our story here.
COVID-19 Health ministry spends over CZK 18 billion on Covid-19 since 2020
According to governmental data, the Czech Health Ministry spent CZK 18 billion on the Covid-19 pandemic in the past three years. The vast majority of the sum – CZK 14.6 billion – went on the purchase and dissemination of vaccines. Tools to help manage and control self-isolation, such as the Smart Quarantine online feature, cost over CZK 940 million. The state also paid CZK 160 million on media campaigns and advertisements relating to health advice.
UKRAINE Czech volunteers receive medals for service in Ukraine
Ukrainian armed forces Commander-in-Chief General Valerii Zaluzhnyi gave this weekend 10 Czech volunteers medals of valor for their service in helping the Ukrainian military in the last 12 months.
Team4Ukraine is the charity that the recipients volunteer for; it receives funding from the Czech public. The volunteers provided medical equipment to hospitals and helped train Ukrainian soldiers in tactical first aid. The helpers consist of former soldiers, war veterans, and ex-police officers.