Breaking: Restaurants and shops to reopen in the Czech Republic from Dec. 3

The country will move to the third degree of the anti-pandemic system on Thursday

ČTK

Written by ČTK
Published on 29.11.2020 10:42 (updated on 29.11.2020)

With the PES score holding at 57 points out of 100 for the seventh day in row, the Czech government has announced that the country will move from the fourth to the third stage of the pandemic alert system next week.

According to the rules of that system, all shops, services, and restaurants will be able reopen from Thursday, December 3, Czech Health Minister Jan Blatný said during a Sunday morning press conference.

Restaurants will be able to reopen on Thursday from 6:00 a.m. until 22:00 p.m. They will be allowed to operate at 50% capacity, with a maximum of four people per table.

In addition to the reopening of shops and services, restrictions on free movement at night will be lifted. Up to 50 people will be able to gather outside instead of the current six, and the ban on alcohol consumption in public places will be lifted.

The night curfew, which is currently in effect from 11:00 p.m., will also be lifted in full from Thursday.

The requirement to wear face masks in all indoor spaces and in selected outdoor places, however, remains.

Hairdressers, salons, and similar services will be able to serve guests, but must comply with the regulation that allows one person per 15 square meters. Hairdressers will need to wear a face mask, but not a shield.

Museums and galleries will also be allowed to reopen, though cinemas and theaters must remain closed until the PES score dips to a lower level.

Blatný said during the Sunday press briefing that fitness centers will be able to reopen according to the one-person-per-15-square-meters rule.

Sunday, November 29, will be the last Sunday that shops will be closed. They will be able to reopen and operate as usual from next Sunday.

According to Blatný, the rules for the third level of the PES epidemic system will be in effect through at least Christmas. The government will once again ask for the state of emergency, which allows for the currents measures and expires on December 12, to be extended.

The relaxation of restrictions will not affect schools. This week, the Education Ministry announced that as of Monday, schools will work according to the current fourth degree of the epidemic system.

"From my point of view, it is a balanced compromise, people are still nervous though at the same time businesspeople have push [for loosening measures]," Interior Minister Jan Hamáček told CNN Prime.

"Although the situation is improving and slowing down, there are still a lot of daily increases in new cases of over four thousand."

There were another 2,667 COVID cases on Saturday, 524 fewer than a week ago and the lowest number since Oct. 3, according to data the Czech Health Ministry released today.

At present, there are 68,268 infected. Since the start of the epidemic, there have been 8,054 COVID-19-related deaths, with another 49 this Saturday.

The PES score largely differs according to regions. It is the best in Prague with 42 points, while another six regions have 57 points, the national average. The lifting of restrictions applies to the entire country.

This is a developing story; we will update as more information becomes available.