Coronavirus update, April 27, 2021: Czech govt. postpones decision to reopen shops

While hairdressers and spas can open from May 3, the reopening of shops will continue to be debated on Thursday.

Expats.cz

Written by Expats.cz
Published on 27.04.2021 09:47 (updated on 27.04.2021)

Decision on reopening shops will be made Thursday

The government postponed its decision on reopening shops as of May 3. A definitive decision on shops' reopening will be made by the cabinet on Thursday, depending on the current epidemiological situation, Deputy Prime Minister Karel Havlíček tweeted after the Monday government meeting. Last week, the cabinet said that all shops would be able to reopen on May 3 if the Covid infection rate hit 100 new cases per 100,000 people in seven days. There are now 156 news cases per 100,000 inhabitants. On Monday morning, Health Minister Petr Arenberger said that goal would probably only be reached by late next week. 

Govt. approves reopening of hairdressers on May 3

Hairdressers, cosmetics, massage, animal care, and similar services can reopen in the Czech Republic as of May 3 amid the improving coronavirus epidemic situation, Deputy PM Karel Havlíček tweeted after Monday’s cabinet meeting. The services will operate in the regime of one staffer per one client. Customers will need to produce a professional-performed negative test for coronavirus. Antigen tests will be valid for 72 hours, PCR tests for seven days, Health Minister Petr Arenberger said. The test will not be required from those who had Covid-19 in the past 90 days, with the date of the first positive test being the start of the deadline period. Covid vaccination certificates will also be recognized if at least 14 days have elapsed since the last vaccination dose, Arenberger said. The reopening of services also applies to spa treatment and rehabilitation care. Private clients who want to go to spas on their own can do so, but only post-Covid patients, Arenberger said.

Galleries, museums to open in three regions

The first three regions where people will be able to visit museums, galleries, monuments, and some other cultural objects after lengthy closures are the Hradec Králové, Plzeň, and Karlovy Vary regions. The possibility to visit these facilities individually will apply from May 3. Additional regions that could be added if the epidemic situation allows will be specified by the government on Thursday. There should be 15 square meters per visitor, and they will be required to maintain a spacing of at least two meters unless they are from a common household. They will also have to wear respirators. Group tours are not allowed.

All primary school pupils to go to school in three regions

All primary school students will be allowed to rotate between remote and regular education in the Hradec Králové, Plzeň, and Karlovy Vary regions as of May 3, Education Minister Robert Plaga said after Monday’s government meeting, confirming previous announcements. As of Monday, April 26, all children could return to kindergarten in the same three regions. Plaga said the cabinet would asses on Thursday whether kindergartens could fully reopen next week also in Prague and Central Bohemia. If the epidemic situation keeps improving, primary school upper grade students may be allowed to rotate between online and regular school in Central Bohemia in Prague as of May 3, too.

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Czech Republic to get record 600,000 vaccine doses this week

More than 600,000 doses of the vaccine against Covid-19 from four producers will be delivered to the Czech Republic this week. It will be the record high amount so far, Prime Minister Andrej Babiš said after his talks with President Miloš Zeman in Lány. Babiš said people aged from 55 to 59 may get registered for the vaccination as of Wednesday. The Chytrá karanténa (Smart Quarantine) team said on Twitter than more than 400,000 doses of the vaccine from Pfizer / BioNTech should be delivered on Tuesday and 149,000 doses from AstraZeneca on Thursday. Vaccines from Moderna (48,000 doses) and Johnson & Johnson (12,000 doses) are to arrive in the country this week as well. Health Minister Petr Arenberger said roughly 100,000 doses per day may be applied within several weeks thanks to the increased deliveries. On average, 42,000 people have been vaccinated per day in the Czech Republic.

Arenberger: Masks will be needed for groups in summer

Respirators should be worn outdoors, but face masks are already fully sufficient, Health Minister Minister Petr Arenberger told daily Blesk. Protection of the nose and mouth against the spread of coronavirus should remain in the summer, for example, in groups of more people. Arenberger said the Health Ministry is trying to discuss with immunologists the possibility of wearing masks, especially in public, only in risky situations where there is a larger group of people together. In the summer, according to Arenberger, it will be necessary to continue to cover your mouth and nose.

"I'm not saying it has to be in all situations," he added.

According to Arenberger, the reason for prolonging the mask-wearing requirement is the possibility of new coronavirus mutations being introduced or created. He added face coverings will continue to be required indoors.

New cases falling, but so is the pace of vaccination

There were 2,560 new Covid cases yesterday. In a week-on-week comparison, this is a decrease of 777 cases, or about a quarter. Currently, there are 156 new cases of the disease per 100,000 inhabitants in the last seven days, according to Health Ministry data. The reproduction number R fell very slightly on Monday, but after rounding remained at 0.88, and the PES index remained at 54 for the sixth day in a row. Healthcare professionals administered 53,115 doses of Covid vaccines on Monday, almost a tenth less in the week-on-week comparison. 2,880,293 doses have been administered since the start of vaccination. 954,656 people are fully vaccinated.

Latest Covid-19 data from the Czech Ministry of Health (April 27, 2021)

  • New cases 2,560
  • Deaths 29,075
  • Currently hospitalized 3,198
  • PCR tests performed 6,693,098
  • Antigen tests performed 10,695,615
  • Reported vaccinations 2,880,293
  • PES index 54
  • R number 0.88