Final Word from Thursday, February 3, 2022

The pandemic took an unbelievably quick turn yesterday. First the Supreme Administrative Court struck down the ban on visits to restaurants, hotels and other businesses by the unvaccinated, effective in one week. Then PM Petr Fiala announced that his cabinet will not try to get around that court ruling and, on top of that, will propose to Parliament this month that the state of pandemic alert be lifted. In the meantime, MPs gave their fast-track approval late yesterday to a more-draconian version of the pandemic law. If the state of pandemic alert had to be reinvoked, the government would have even more authority to regulate businesses and people. All this means that the country is headed into a period of a great reopening, but also of great uncertainty. No one will know how long the easing will last and how harsh the subsequent clampdown might be if another wave appears. It's times like this that the Senate is supposed to step in. Its influential members could set the tone by simply declaring that with the end of the pandemic around the corner, the government doesn't need to increase its pandemic powers. [ Czech Republic ]

Glossary of difficult words

to invoke - to put into legal effect;

draconian - (of laws or their application) excessively harsh and severe;

clampdown - a concerted or harsh attempt to suppress something.

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