Czechia: Restaurants and schools to close again as epidemic threat rises

Despite closures, all shops can remain open

editor: REMIX NEWS
author: EuroZprá, Czech News Agency

Due to the deteriorating Covid-19 epidemic situation, the Czech government will once again tighten measures against the spread of coronavirus.
Czechia will return to the fourth degree of the anti-epidemic system from Friday, Dec. 18. After two weeks, restaurants, hotels and guesthouses, swimming pools, gyms, and other indoor sports grounds, as well as museums, galleries, monuments, and libraries, will close again.
A night curfew will come into force and meetings will be limited to a maximum of six people, however, all shops and services can remain open this time. On Friday, children will go to school for the last time before Christmas. From the same day, ski resorts can be opened, but visitors will not be able to stay there. The government also decided on compensation for the affected sectors yesterday.
Voluntary antigen testing of the public for Covid-19 will begin as early as Wednesday, Dec. 16, two days earlier than originally planned by the Ministry of Health. So far, more than 18,000 people have registered for the tests. Minister of Health Jan Blatný said at a press conference after the government meeting that the daily capacity will be up to 60,000 people. He also announced that the first doses of coronavirus vaccine could arrive in the Czech Republic by the end of the year. This is a calculation if the vaccine is approved on Dec. 21.
“It was a very difficult decision because, of course, we are aware of the impact of the situation and restrictions have on people’s lives,” said Prime Minister Andrej Babiš after the cabinet meeting.
According to him, the number of new cases is also rising among seniors, the reproduction number is 1.2 and there is a risk that by the end of the month there will be up to 10,000 newly infected a day.
Title image: Czech Republic’s Prime Minister Andrej Babis is reflected in glass as he leaves at the end of an EU summit in Brussels, Friday, Dec. 11, 2020. European Union leaders have reached a hard-fought deal to cut the bloc’s greenhouse gas emissions by at least 55 percent by the end of the decade compared with 1990 levels, avoiding a hugely embarrassing deadlock ahead of a U.N. climate meeting this weekend. (AP Photo/Francisco Seco, Pool)


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