Blatný to propose PES level 4 Monday, restaurants will close, shops to remain open

Govt. will discuss compensation for businesses that must close, ski resorts could open, but skiers will not be allowed to stay.

ČTK

Written by ČTK
Published on 11.12.2020 12:04 (updated on 11.12.2020)

During a press conference this morning, Minister of Health Jan Blatný (ANO), said on Monday he will propose the government move from the third to the fourth level of the PES system, according to CTK.

It will probably go into effect from the second half of next week, he said. Apart from open shops and home visits, all measures will, according to him, correspond to the fourth level of the PES system. This includes the closing of restaurants, bars and service establishments.

The government will also discuss compensation for those businesses which must shutter. According to the Ministry of Health, the operation of ski resorts will also be possible in the fourth degree, but it will not be possible to stay in the mountains, said Blatný.

The measures will correspond to the fourth level, except for shops, which will remain open to all. "The measures will have restrictions on people the number of people in the shops," Blatný said. Visits to homes for the elderly will also be allowed, but visitors will have to be tested and wear a respirator.

According to Blatný , the Czech Republic is once again in a difficult situation in regard to the COVID-19 pandemic. New cases have started to increase again and the reproductive (R) number is growing, indicating an increased spread of the virus.

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Only Prague and the Pilsen Region are at a PES number below 60 at the moment, said Ladislav Dušek, director of the Institute of Health Information and Statistics (ÚZIS) at today's press conference.

According to Dušek, the pandemic is currently spreading faster elsewhere in Europe. The average number of new cases per day since the last week in the Czech Republic has increased by eight percent, in previous weeks it has decreased or stagnated.

The reproductive (R) number indicates the average number of other people who become infected from one person carrying COVID. If it did not increase further, according to Dušek's presentation, it indicates that there could be about 114,000 newly infected in December. "If the reproduction (R) number rises to values ​​above 1.2, we will inevitably monitor the escalation," he said. In that case, there would be about 198,000 newly infected people by the end of December.

Until the arrival of the vaccine, according to Dušek, there are options that can prevent the spread of the virus, such as reducing the number of risky contacts and widespread participation in voluntary antigen testing. Two weeks ago, mobility data showed a reduction of about 50 to 60 percent, in the last week, mobility is only about 30 percent lower.

According to Blatný, common measures, such as wearing face masks, washing hands and social distancing, are now not enough to slow down the coronavirus pandemic. People should limit social contacts, he told reporters today. If people plan to meet elderly relatives at Christmas, they should wear an FFP2 respirator and purchase one for the person they are visiting.

"Reducing the gathering of people is what is most effective against the spread of the disease," Blatny said. According to him, the aim is to prevent overloading of the health care system. The number of people who had to be hospitalized for coronavirus has stopped declining. To date, there have been 4,429 people in hospital, about a hundred more than on Thursday.

According to the minister, most people who spread the disease do not do it on purpose, because they do not know about their infection. That is why Blatný recommends being tested before Christmas. Free voluntary testing will begin on December 18.