On Sept. 1, Czechia will reintroduce a mandatory mask rule for people indoors and in public transport, Minister of Health Adam Vojtěch told reporters after the meeting of the Government Council for Health Risks.
According to him, the measure is to prevent the spread of the coronavirus after the beginning of the school year, which causes more frequent contacts between people and more travel. As Vojtěch previously stated, the autumn might be complicated regarding the COVID-19 pandemic but also other respiratory diseases.
Vojtěch said that face masks will have to be worn in all types of public transport, including long-distance connections.
“Also, in indoor spaces such as shops, malls, and post offices and at indoor mass events, regardless of the number of participants,” he said.
Schoolchildren will have to wear face masks in the common areas of the school.
“By this, we mean halls and places like that, not within individual classes,” Vojtěch added.
The measure will not apply to offices or business premises with employees nor does it apply to restaurants.
“We want to introduce it where it makes the most sense,” Vojtěch said.
According to him, the precautionary measure should apply to places where different groups of people meet.
“We consider face masks as one of the three main preventive measures besides disinfection and social distancing,” he stressed.
The limit on the participation of people in public events will still apply to 1,000 “but sectors can be divided into 1,000 people, which is a basic principle that we hold,” he said. Internal events can include 500 people and a maximum of five sectors, he added.
In theaters and other auditoriums with permanent seats, it will not be necessary to leave every second seat unoccupied, Vojtěch added. However, wearing face masks will be mandatory there, too.
Exceptions to wearing face masks will be similar to this spring when the state ordered a broad obligation to wear them during the epidemic for the first time.
“Now, I cannot name the exceptions exactly, but we plan them for people for whom the face mask would be a complication, for example, people with mental illness,” concluded Vojtěch.
Title image: A woman wearing a homemade face mask poses for a photo downtown Prague, Czech Republic, Friday, March 27, 2020. In Czech Republic it is mandatory that all people must cover their mouths and noses in public to stem the spread of the novel coronavirus called COVID-19. (AP Photo/Petr David Josek)