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The Communist Party, which supports Prime Minister Andrej Babis’ minority coalition government, said it decided to withdraw support for the powers that be in response to the government ignoring its calls for schools and ski resorts to be reopened. “The government did not take our conditions seriously and decided otherwise,” the party said in a statement.

If the government does not find the votes in parliament, the state of emergency will expire on February 14th. Many Czechs are fed up with the government’s actions and the opposition has called the politics chaotic.

Groups of disgruntled restaurant owners held demonstrations and some opened their restaurants or ski lifts, while some accommodation establishments circumvented the ban on vacation.

The Czech Republic has suffered one of the highest death rates in the world, with 16,976 deaths in a population of 10.7 million. Daily cases have remained stubbornly high this week at around 9,000, with only Portugal and Spain seeing higher two-week per capita averages in Europe, according to ECDC data.

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Robert Dunfee