Coronavirus update, April 23, 2021: Czech govt. unveils plan to restart 'normal life,' from May 3

Shops and selected services should reopen in less than ten days depending on the numbers of newly infected per 100,000. Staff

Written by Staff Published on 23.04.2021 09:54:00 (updated on 23.04.2021) Reading time: 3 minutes

Shops, services to reopen on May 3 if epidemic situation allows

The Czech government approved the opening of shops, markets, and selected services as of May 3 if the epidemic conditions remain favorable. The government will adjust the relaxation of the anti-epidemic measures according to the numbers of newly infected per 100,000. The necessary target threshold is 100 people with COVID-19 per 100,000 population while the current figure equals 177. Selected services related to body care, pets, and spa healthcare will be allowed to open under strict sanitary measures. See our complete story here.

Court cancels anti-Covid measures, Health Ministry will adapt them

The Czech Supreme Administrative Court (NSS) canceled the special anti-epidemic measure issued by the Health Ministry over Covid-19 restricting shops, services, and people's gatherings, but there is a four-day deferral to ruling for the ministry to adapt to it, NSS judges said yesterday. The NSS decision will come into force the fourth day after the verdict has taken effect, thus the ministry can adjust its measures so they meet the court’s requirements. Health Minister Petr Arenberger said after yesterday's government meeting the ministry would issue updated version of the restrictions. The NSS said the main flaw of the measure is the government approved it only after it was issued, which is a crucial procedure error. The NSS also contested several single measures, stating the restrictions concerning people's gatherings should not concern family gatherings and events. The court stressed the number of people at outdoor gatherings and protest events cannot be restricted without the state of emergency. The NSS is still dealing with 31 other motions disputing the anti-epidemic measures.

Kindergartens will fully open in three regions

Children will be able to return to kindergartens on April 26 in three regions –Hradec Králové, Plzeň and Karlovy Vary – without face coverings and tests. In these regions, number of people infected with Covid-19 is below 100 per 100,000 inhabitants for the last seven days. In other regions, only preschoolers will be able to go to kindergartens on Monday, meaning those who are already preparing for primary school, and under stricter hygiene rules. From Monday, April 26, practical teaching will be resumed in secondary schools and the last years of universities. On Monday, the government will also decide whether, as of Monday, May 3, primary school students in grades six to nine (known as the second level) will be able to enter schools according to the rotation principle in the three regions with the lowest infection rates.  

People 60 and over can start applying for Covid vaccination

People aged 60 to 64 can start applying for the Covid-19 vaccination through the Health Ministry website. About 650,000 people of this age live in the Czech Republic, but some of them have already been vaccinated as if they belong to another preferred group, for example health professionals, teachers and other education workers, or chronic patients with serious diseases. Health Minister Petr Arenberger said it was possible to open registrations for another group, because in some regions older people who were interested in the vaccine are already vaccinated. According to him, it is probable that another age group over 55 will be able to report for vaccination next week.

E-certificate of Covid tests, vaccination to start

Electronic certificates of negative tests for Covid-19, vaccination against the virus, and having had the in the past 90 days should be available in three weeks, Health Minister Petr Arenberger said.Under the new relaxation packages introduced by the government yesterday, some services, such as accommodation, swimming pools, and hairdressers will be available only to those with a certificate. The state has a database of the people mentioned above in its system of infectious diseases, in which all administered vaccines and both antigen and PCR results are registered. The ministry did not specify how recent the test result should in order to be be accepted.

Vaccinations increase, but still fewer than last week

Thursday saw 2,615 new cases of Covid-19, the fewest on a weekday since Sept. 29. The increase was one-fifth lower than in the previous week, according to data from the Health Ministry. The number of vaccinations on Thursday for the first time this week exceeded 67,046, but was about 5,000 fewer than last Thursday and far short of the goal of 100,000 per day. Since last March, when the first cases of covid-19 appeared in the Czech Republic, the disease has been confirmed in more than 1.6 million people and 28,863 people have died with Covid-19. The reproduction number R is at 0.85, meaning the spread of the virus is slowing. The PES index remains at 54.

Latest Covid-19 data from the Czech Ministry of Health (April 23, 2021)

  • New cases 2,615
  • Deaths 28,863
  • Currently hospitalized 3,693
  • PCR tests performed 6,641,189
  • Antigen tests performed 10,082,066
  • Reported vaccinations 2,719,610
  • PES index 54
  • R number 0.85
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