Coronavirus update, June 22, 2021: Czech govt. speeds up next wave of relaxations to June 26

Plus: Czechs and EU citizens vaccinated abroad can get certificates from UZIS, employers want to decide on face masks and tests in their firms. Staff

Written by Staff Published on 22.06.2021 09:42:00 (updated on 22.06.2021) Reading time: 4 minutes

Govt. speeds up next wave of restriction easing to June 26

A further package of Covid restrictions relaxation in the Czech Republic, originally scheduled for July 1, was sped up by a cabinet decision and is newly due as of June 26, the last weekend before the summer holidays, Health Minister Adam Vojtěch said. The restrictions lifting applies, for example, to retail shops and services, but also speeds up the relaxation of the limitations in culture, mass events and at places such as swimming pools. The cabinet approved the sped-up relaxation in connection with the Covid testing system at children's summer camps some of which will start before July 1.

No more relaxations planned for the summer

Health Minister Adam Vojtěch said the measures softened as of June 26 would keep in effect for a long time. If a signal of an epidemic deterioration appeared, he would like to react by tightening restrictions in the afflicted regions.

"We can see no trend signaling any problem now," Vojtěch said.

He said that delta, the more contagious variant of coronavirus, has been traced in the Czech Republic and the sequencing of samples, the process that enables to monitor the new mutations, continues. "If the situation required it, we would preferentially introduce regime restrictions in individual [afflicted] regions," he said. Vojtěch said he does not plan to initiate any further relaxation during the summer holiday in July and August.

More people can attend cultural events

Up to 5,000 people will be able to attend outdoor culture events as of June 26, Culture Minister Lubomír Zaorálek said. The maximum number of visitors to indoor events will be 2,000, with the capacity of the room being filled at 75 percent at the most. Galleries and museums will be able to admit a number of visitors corresponding to one visitor per 10 square meters. Groups of tourists will be able to visit heritage sites, such as castles and chateaus, without any restrictions if the participants produce either a negative coronavirus test or a Covid vaccination certificate.  All visitors have to protect their airways.

Popcorn but no dancing

Consumption of drinks and foods in cinemas will be permitted again as of June 26. In restaurants and clubs, live music will be permitted, but without dancing for the time being, Health Minister Adam Vojtěch said. At swimming pools and wellness centers, the maximum permitted filling of their capacities will rise to 75 percent from the current 50 percent.

Czechs and EU citizens vaccinated abroad can get certificates

The same conditions will be applied to people vaccinated against coronavirus in the Czech Republic and to Czechs and EU citizens with long-term or temporary residence in the Czech Republic who received the vaccines approved by the European Medicines Agency (EMA) in third countries, the government approved. Health Minister Adam Vojtěch said these conditions will apply to those who completed their vaccination at least 14 days ago. Vojtěch said those vaccinated in third countries will be able to get a vaccination certificate in the online system administered by the Health Information and Statistics Institute (ÚZIS) as of July 1. Such persons will not only be allowed to enter the Czech Republic but they will not even have to be tested or have any other certificate, and they will be able to have their vaccination certificate and be allowed to move across the Czech Republic with it in a standard way. The new measure will take effect as of Tuesday when the model certificate is to be released in the list of recognized national certificates on the Health Ministry website, Vojtěch said. The ruling does not apply to long-term residents from non-EU countries such as the U.S. or UK.

Employers want to decide on face masks, tests in their firms

Czech employers want the cabinet to amend the relevant law to enable the employers to decide on the face mask duty in companies or on compulsory corporate Covid testing, which they want to be further covered from health insurance, Confederation of Employers and Entrepreneurs' Association (KZPS) head Jan Wiesner said at a press conference. Wiesner was speaking after a meeting of the Tripartite, a body comprising representatives of the government, unions, and employers, the task of which is to help keep social harmony in the country. Trade unions support corporate testing and vaccination. Labor and Social Affairs Minister Jana Maláčová said a definition of the rules in question will be debated.

Over 2.5 million have both doses of vaccine

There were 121 new coronavirus infections on Monday, some 55 fewer than last week. Currently, 79 people are hospitalized with a Covid-19, and 10 are in serious condition. Tthe statistics do not include those who show no symptoms of Covid-19 any more but their serious health troubles still require intensive hospital care. The incidence number, meaning the number of people infected in the past week per 100 thousand inhabitants, remained at 8 on Monday. The PES number, which is no longer used to set policy, crept up to 27 from 25 on Sunday. The reproduction number R also rose to 0.88 from 0.84, It had been as 0.64 a week ago. One person died over the weekend with Covid-19. No victims have been registered on Monday, but the Ministry of Health sometimes revises these figures retrospectively. Over 2.6 million people in the Czech Republic are fully vaccinated, with 2,533,834 having two doses of vaccine and 79,639 having the single-shot Janssen vaccine.

Latest Covid-19 data from the Czech Ministry of Health (June 22, 2021)

  • New cases 121
  • Deaths 30 283
  • Currently hospitalized 79
  • PCR tests performed 7,795,538
  • Antigen tests performed 20,351,559
  • Total vaccinations 7,229,505
  • Daily increase in vaccinations 105,681
  • People who have completed vaccination 2,613,473
  • New cases per 100,000 in seven days 8
  • PES index 27
  • R number 0.88
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