The Czech government approved the proposal to make wearing face mask mandatory outside if people cannot keep a two-meter distance, with the measure coming into effect on Wednesday.
However, there will be exceptions for members of one family or people doing sports.
“Face masks will be mandatory in all built-up areas if the distance between people is less than two meters, and they are not a member of the same family. However, face masks will not be compulsory outside the urban area,” said Minister of Health Roman Prymula.
“The colder the weather, the greater is the importance of face masks outside,” Prymula added.
According to him, by adopting this measure in the spring, the incidence of other common respiratory diseases also decreased. Face masks will also be mandatory in the car unless the driver is alone or in the presence of other family members.
Wearing face masks when being away from home has been mandatory in the Czech Republic since mid-March. Gradually, the government eased the obligation. Face masks then remained compulsory in most interior spaces until July 1. However, this measure was reimplemented, and since Sept. 10, wearing face masks was mandatory in interior spaces and public transport.
According to health minister Prymula, a possible lockdown in the Czech Republic will not be discussed at the government this week. Deputy Prime Minister Jan Hamáček said over the weekend that such a decision would be made based on the number of the COVID-19 cases at the end of this week.
“The basic measures should be in place for at least 14 days to show their impact. I don’t think it would be on Wednesday or at any time this week,” said Prymula about when he expects to see results of the current measures.
Title image: Dozens of worshippers pray during a mass celebrated at Old Town Square in Prague, Czech Republic, Sunday, Oct. 18, 2020. As Czech Republic battles new spike of coronavirus infections newly adopted COVID-19 restrictive measures limit indoor gatherings to six people or less. (AP Photo/Petr David Josek)