Coronavirus update, April 7, 2021: Night curfew, ban on traveling between districts to end

Primary school lower grades reopen on April 12; some shops, farmers markets, and zoos to reopen; lowest number of new weekday cases since mid-December.

Expats.cz Staff

Written by Expats.cz Staff Published on 07.04.2021 09:51 (updated on 07.04.2021) Reading time: 5 minutes

Night curfew, ban on traveling between districts to end

The ban on traveling between districts and the night curfew from 9 p.m. to 5 a.m. are to expire along with the end of the state of emergency in the Czech Republic on April 11. Newly, up to 10 people will be allowed to gather indoors and up to 20 outdoors, Health Minister Jan Blatný said after the government meeting. Further measured will be guided by the pandemic law, recently approved by the Chamber of Deputies, Blatný added.

Primary school lower grades reopen on April 12

Primary school lower graders will start returning to schools in the Czech Republic as of April 12 and they will rotate between regular and remote instruction, while only pre-school children will return to kindergartens so far, the government confirmed. Face masks will be mandatory at schools, but not for children in kindergartens. The government approved the school reopening plan presented by Education Minister Robert Plaga and Health Minister Jan Blatný last week. Consequently, university students from the final years will be able to attend practical courses and laboratory exercises as of April 19. During the first phase of the school reopening, secondary school and university students will still follow distance instruction only, along with primary school higher graders from the sixth to ninth classes. The Health Ministry is to announce on Wednesday whether the decision will apply to all districts based on the current number of new confirmed coronavirus cases.  

Some shops, farmers markets, and zoos to reopen

Shops with children's clothes and shoes and stationery stores will reopen in the Czech Republic on April 12, coinciding with the planned return of children to some school lower grades. Farmers markets, dry cleaners, laundries, locksmiths, appliance repair shops, and shops selling car spare parts and machinery will also be allowed to open, the Czech government decided at its Tuesday afternoon meeting. The government also approved the reopening of the outdoor premises of zoos and botanical gardens, which have been closed since Dec. 18, 2020. These venues may open as of April 12, but can only fill up to 20 percent of their capacity. Read our previous story here.

Govt. approves distribution of face masks for schools

The cabinet approved the distribution of face masks to schools and the purchase of additional tests for Covid-19 that should be use at primary schools twice a week. The Education Ministry has reserved 12.6 million face masks from the State Material Reserves Administration (SSHR) . They may be used if schoolchildren forget their mask at home, for instance, Education Minister Robert Plaga said. He added that the SSHR should also secure the purchases of further antigen tests for Covid-19 for schools by the end of the school year.

Blatný: Negative tests may be required for some services

When the condition improves and it will be possible to open some other services for people with a negative test for coronavirus, Health Minister Jan Blatný said after the government meeting. This would apply, for example, to hairdressers and other body care services, which he said will be in the first wave of further relaxation.

"As soon as the condition improves so much that it will be possible to gradually release other activities and services, testing is planned and with the possibility of having both an antigen test and PCR. The antigen test will be valid for a shorter time, PCR longer," Blatný said

This should allow for public events for a larger number of people or, for example, the partial opening of restaurants or hotels.

Moderna, Pfizer vaccine second doses to be applied after 42 days

The second doses of the Pfizer/BioNTech and Moderna vaccines against Covid-19 will be administered in the Czech Republic after 38 to 42 days, Health Minister Jan Blatný confirmed after the government's meeting. This applies to the people who have not gotten their time slots for the second vaccine dose yet. So far, Czechs have received the second dose of the vaccines from the Pfizer/BioNTech firm after 21 days and from Moderna after 28 days. The Health Ministry announced last week that this interval would be prolonged. It will be formally confirmed by the ministry's extraordinary measure.

Hospitals need not limit planned treatment

Czech hospitals need not fully limit their planned treatment as of Wednesday, April 7, which they had to do due to the high inflow of coronavirus patients under the extraordinary measure from Dec. 30, 2020, which the Health Ministry changed yesterday. Health Minister Jan Blatný announced this step last week already. The December measure stipulated that "the admission of new patients for the purpose of planned care provision must be immediately halted," which was now modified to "limiting the admission" of such patients. This elective, non-urgent care includes mainly planned surgeries.

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184,400 quarantined, isolated in March over Covid

The total of 184,400 people were in quarantine or isolation over Covid-19 in March, 40,000 more than in either January or February, and GPs issued some 220,200 e-sick notes for the quarantined and 249,900 for the isolated in the first quarter of 2021, the Social Affairs Ministry's data show. Since the beginning of March, people in quarantine or isolation have received a CZK 370 bonus added to the sick pay during the first 14 days of the ordered quarantine. The Health Ministry reports the tests for coronavirus confirmed 299,404 new cases in March as against 252,598 in February and 255,417 in January.

The Czech Republic can offer hospital beds to other countries

The Czech Republic is able to offer up to 50 beds in hospitals for Covid-19 patients to foreign countries if the epidemic situation there keeps worsening, Health Minister Jan Blatný said after the government meeting. In recent months, Germany, Austria, Poland, Switzerland and other countries offered help with the treatment of Czech Covid-19 patients, but only one woman was transported abroad eventually. Blatný has informed the government that thanks to the fact that the epidemic situation has been improving in some regions for several weeks, the Czech Republic can repay the aid its foreign partners provided.

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Lowest number of new weekday cases since mid-December

There were 5,522 new Covid-19 cases on Tuesday, the lowest number for a workday since Dec.14, according to Health Ministry data released this morning. The reproduction number R decreased from 0.71 to 0.67 on Tuesday, its lowest level since early October when the ministry started to track it as part of the anti-epidemic system PES. It has been below 1.0 for 30 days, which means that the epidemic is subsiding. It peaked on Oct. 9 when it was 1.75. The coronavirus death toll since the start of the pandemic has reached 27,329.

Latest Covid-19 data from the Czech Ministry of Health (April 7, 2021)

  • New cases 5,522
  • Deaths 27,329
  • Currently hospitalized 6,744
  • PCR tests performed 6,349,943
  • Antigen tests performed 7,200,535
  • Reported vaccinations 1,864,099
  • PES index 54
  • R number 0.67
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