Czechia reopens shopping centers, plans on ending mandatory face mask rule

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On Monday, beer gardens attached to restaurants, shopping centers, cinemas, and hairdressers opened up after the Czech government lifted the largest number of coronavirus restrictions to date.

Events of up to 100 people are also now allowed, meaning that people can go to theaters, cinemas or museums, weddings, and religious gatherings.

However, people still must follow strict hygiene rules. No more than 100 people may be in one building at a time, a two-meter distance must be maintained, face masks must be worn, and crowding is prohibited. Building operators also have to sufficiently disinfect the premises and control whether people comply with regulations.

The government decided to lift certain restrictions due to the positive development of the epidemic as the daily increase in coronavirus cases in the Czech Republic remains below 100 for the eleventh day in a row.

To attract visitors after the two-month-long closure, many institutions, including the National Museum, offer reduced admission fees, however, in the case of the museum, the economic loss is irreversible as its revenues dropped by tens of millions of korunas per month.

The easing of the rules also affected schools, which opened to ninth-graders and high school graduates, i.e. those who will go to different schools in the next academic year. According to the Deputy Minister of Health Roman Prymula, the risk of the virus spreading after the schools open is minimal.

The mandatory use of face masks will end on May 25

The Czech government also plans to make more concessions. For example, from May 25, people will not have to wear face masks in open spaces if they keep a distance of two meters.

It will not be necessary to have a face mask even in big cities if the “2 meters distance rule“ is met, stated the Czech Health Ministry, which has proposed an easing of this rule.

“From May 25, it will be obligatory to wear face masks inside buildings, except for your house, in public transport, in taxi services and also at places where people cannot maintain the two-meters distance,” said Minister of Health Adam Vojtěch at the press conference.

May 25 is also the day when remaining bans should be lifted. For example, restaurants will be allowed to open their indoor areas for customers.

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