Coronavirus update, June 15, 2021: Next wave of relaxations planned for July

Occupancy of both outdoor and indoor events to increase, restaurants can have live music, and cinemas can sell popcorn. Staff

Written by Staff Published on 15.06.2021 09:29:00 (updated on 15.06.2021) Reading time: 6 minutes

Limits raised for indoor, outdoor cultural events

The maximum attendance at cultural events will be raised to 2,000 indoors and 5,000 outdoors, with standing places to be partially allowed, in the Czech Republic as of July 1, Culture Minister Lubomír Zaorálek told reporters after the government meeting, The percentage of capacity of the outdoor premises for cultural events will not longer be limited. When it comes to indoor events, the capacity can be filled up to 75 percent. As of July 1, food and drinks can also be consumed in cinemas. In museums and galleries, there may be one visitor per 10 square meters. Under the current rules valid since June 8, up to 1,000 people can attend indoor cultural events and 2,000 outdoor ones. Only a half of the seats both indoors and outdoors can still be occupied.

Restrictions for restaurants, retail, services changing on July 1

Live music, but not dance, will be allowed in restaurants and night clubs. The capacity of swimming pools and wellness centers will be raised to 75 percent as of July 1, Czech Health Minister Adam Vojtěch told journalists. As of the same day, there can be one person per 10 square meters in retail shops and the ban on promotion events will be lifted. At present, there is the limit of one customer per 15 square meters. In hairdressers, beauty parlors, manicure, and massage, the condition of a single customer will be canceled. The duty to register clients will also be lifted, Vojtěch said. Proof of vaccination, a negative test, or recovery is still required.

People with only one vaccine dose have to be quarantined

The quarantine after contacts with the Covid infected will be mandatory even for the people with the first Covid vaccine dose due to the risk of dangerous mutations, Czech Health Minister Adam Vojtěch said after the government meeting. Under the current extraordinary measure, people who are fully vaccinated need not be quarantined in such cases if at least two weeks passed since their second dose (or since the full inoculation with a single-dose vaccine).

"It has been proven that mainly the Indian mutation is resistant after the first dose," Vojtěch added.

Yet to prove the absence of Covid infection, for instance, to attend public events or use some services, it is sufficient to have at least 22 days after the first vaccine dose. Another alternative is to present a negative PCR or antigen test result or undergo the infection in the past 180 days.

Face mask duty lifted during classes at schools in all regions

Neither students nor teachers have to wear face masks during classes in the Zlín, South Bohemia and Liberec regions, where they were still mandatory, as of Tuesday, June 15, the government decided and Education Minister Robert Plaga tweeted. The face mask duty during instruction was lifted in the other 11 regions last week. However, the face mask duty will remain valid during breaks and on common premises, such as corridors and restrooms, at schools and elsewhere. The Education Minister has also set new rules for tests at universities and colleges. Newly, a PCR test not older than seven days or a certificate or statutory declaration on an antigen test not older than 72 hours will suffice, Plaga tweeted. No lectures and seminars are underway at universities, as there is the main exam period now.

Private castle owners may get subsidies from Covid-culture

The operators and owners of private castles, chateaus and ruins in the Czech Republic will be able to seek support from the Covid-culture program as the government approved this change yesterday, Industry and Trade Minister Karel Havlíček told reporters after the cabinet meeting. One applicant can get up to CZK 4 million from the program. The applications can start being filed in June already, Deputy PM Havlíček pointed out. The government has earmarked a total of CZK 200 millions for this support. The Industry and Trade Ministry will cover the funding with CZK 1.9 billion that the government released to the program last year. The heritage sights owners and operators will be entitled to the compensation for March to May 2020 and from October to December 2020. The subsidy must not exceed 80 percent of the average operational costs

Over one-third of Czechs aged 16-29 apply for Covid vaccination

More than one-third of Czechs aged from 16 to 29, over 500,000 of them, registered for Covid vaccination in the first nine days after the system opened to them, some 117,000 having received the vaccine and 25,000 seeing their vaccination completed, the Health Ministry's data shows. Over a half of the Czech Republic's population was registered for vaccination by Sunday, June 13. In younger age groups, interest was lower both after 10 days and one month than among the older groups. Almost 56 percent of those aged over 55 registered in the first 10 days as of April 28, when they could start doing so. Their share increased to 65 percent by end-May. In all groups of those aged over 45, registration in the first 10 days was sought by more than a half of people in the given age category. In the categories of those aged 30-34 and 16-29, it was 35.5 percent and 34 percent, respectively. Currently, about 42.2 percent of the entire Czech population have received at least one dose of the vaccine, or almost 51 percent of people over 16. Vaccination has not yet opened for people under 16.

Court against test required before return by individual transport

The Prague Municipal Court canceled part of the Health Ministry's measure under which a test for Covid-19 may be required before return to the Czech Republic from some countries by individual transport means, Judge Štěpán Výborný said in press release. However, the court preserved this duty for return by public transport. Currently, people must undergo a Covid test only when returning to the Czech territory from the countries with a very high risk of coronavirus infection, included in the "dark red zone" on the Czech traveler's map. The court abolished this measure as of June 17. The verdict applies to the Health Ministry' protective measure issued on May 28.

"The court has concluded that in the case of a citizen's return by individual transport, the desired goal, that is the public health protection, can be reached by softer means than a mandatory test in an accredited laboratory before return to the Czech Republic," Výborný said.

According to the court, an obligatory test in such a case means inadequate limiting the right to a free entry into the territory of the Czech Republic, which the Charter of Fundamental Rights and Freedoms secures to every citizen.

Voting in quarantine may be possible in autumn general election

he Czech government approved a bill under which people in quarantine would be able to cast their ballots in drive-in points and into mobile ballot boxes if the October general election if held amid the state of pandemic or emergency over Covid, Deputy PM Jan Hamáček said. Upon the agreement with the lower house, the bill on special ways of voting on the general election will take effect only if the state of emergency or the state of pandemic over Covid-19 is declared in the Czech Repubic in mid-September. The drive-in points, mobile ballot boxes proved efficient last autumn when the elections to the regional assemblies and one-third of the Senate took place.

Only three Covid-related deaths in the past day

There were 188 new cases of Covid reported on Monday, over 100 fewer than on the previous Monday. The number of new cases per 100,000 people over seven days also continued to drop, reaching 12 from the previous 13. The number of Covid-related deaths increased by three since yesterday morning's statistics, bringing the total to 30,229. The daily number of vaccinations topped 100,000 again. The PES index is no longer used to plan policy, but it remained to 26, which is the lowest since the system was introduced last fall. The reproduction number R dropped to 0.68, showing that the pandemic is continuing to recede.

Latest Covid-19 data from the Czech Ministry of Health (June 15, 2021)

  • New cases 188
  • Deaths 30 229
  • Currently hospitalized 161
  • PCR tests performed 7,608,616
  • Antigen tests performed 19,458,741
  • Total vaccinations 6,661,039
  • Daily increase in vaccinations 110,511
  • People who have completed vaccination 2,166,731
  • New cases per 100,000 in seven days 12
  • PES index 26
  • R number 0.68
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