Coronavirus update, May 18, 2021: Hotels can reopen for tourists starting May 24

Another wave of relaxations will come next week, with increased capacity at events and more people allowed at gyms. Staff

Written by Staff Published on 18.05.2021 09:31:00 (updated on 18.05.2021) Reading time: 5 minutes

Hotels to reopen for tourism as of May 24

Accommodation facilities such as hotels and hostels will be able to reopen for recreational purposes without the limitation of their capacities as of May 24, Czech Industry and Trade Minister Karel Havlíček told journalists. Guests will have to present their clean bill of health by a coronavirus test, a vaccination certificate, or a document on having undergone Covid-19. Upon arrival, the clients of accommodation facilities will have to prove that they meet the conditions for accommodation and personnel will have to check the relevant documents. They will only be able to be accommodated for seven days. If the stay is to be prolonged, a repeated test will be necessary. Government materials indicate that guests will be allowed to be served in the hotel's restaurants from 6 a.m. until 9:59 p.m. Buffet refreshments will be prohibited. Currently, hotels, boarding houses and further accommodation facilities can only serve the clients traveling on business trips or to the doctors.

Capacity to increase at sports facilities and gyms

Up to 12 people instead of the current two will be able to practice collectively sports at indoor sports facilities as of May 24. The number of people who may practice sports in the whole area of a sports ground will increase to 30 instead of the current 10, Health Minister Petr Arenberger told journalists after the government meeting. Plaga said the rules would also be applied for physical education at school. He said there was the limit of 12 persons for collective games indoors.

"For the activities in the whole area, there are 30 persons, which should be sufficient for physical education in individual classes," Education Minister Robert Plaga said.

The ministry still prefers children's outdoor training. In the reopened facilities, there is the necessity of having been tested, vaccinated, or having undergone Covid. Visitors must not use the locker rooms or showers.

All Czech schools returning to regular instruction May 24

The government decided that all elementary schools will return to regular instruction without any rotation on May 24 and on the same day, secondary schools may do so, too, Education Ministry spokeswoman Aneta Lednová has told journalists. The pupils of the schools that use antigen tests will have to undergo them once a week. The more accurate PCR tests for Covid are compulsory once in two weeks. Universities will also be able to renew theoretical teaching on May 24. There will be the condition of the 1.5 meter distance with the exception of practical studies and work in laboratories, the government decided. Elementary school first-fifth graders already switched to regular instruction yesterday. The sixth-ninth graders and lower grades of elementary schools in one-half of the regions with a good epidemiological situation also only have instruction at school. The second half of the regions will return to regular teaching without any rotation next week.


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Residential outdoor schools reopening May 31

Residential outdoor schools can fully resume as of May 31 on condition of presenting a negative PCR test from a lab or an antigen test from a school, Education Minister Robert Plaga said. The result of the PCR test must not be older than 72 hours. If the school uses antigen tests, it should ensure the pupils' testing on the day of the departure and then once in 72 hours in the outdoor school. Accommodation facilities are to only provide their services to the participants in residential outdoor schools. If there are several classes there, the operator should provide for their separation.

Up to 1,000 people can attend cultural events as of May 24

As of May 24, outdoor cultural events may be attended by up to 1,000 people, but maximally one-half of the capacity of the space may be filled, Health Minister Petr Arenberger said. Indoor events are also permitted, provided there is the maximum participation of 500 viewers. Organizers must also at the most fill one-half of the capacity, he added. Currently, outdoor events can only be held for a maximum 700 viewers. Some theaters are planning to start outdoor performances later this week and some are preparing indoor performances as of next week. However, a great deal of them are still waiting for June to resume their operation.

Sports or haircuts can be without a respirator

From today, people no longer have to wear respiratory protection during exercise. Respirators and masks can also be removed by customers of hairdressers, barbers, beauty salons, massage services, or tattoo artists. The change was approved by the cabinet. Athletes previously had been able to remove respirators during training or matches, but only in certain conditions. Respirators are now no longer needed by any athletes or practicing people during training, exercise, wrestling or competition. Coaches, other team members in team sports, and referees can also be without mouth and nose protection.  

People aged 40 to 44 set new record for registrations

More than 200,000 people aged 40 to 44 registered for vaccination against covid-19 by Monday evening, the Smart Quarantine project team, which manages vaccination registrations, said. This age group set a record in the number of registrations in one day. In total, there are over 900,000 people at this age, about a seventh have been vaccinated before in one of the priority groups.

"It is shortly after eight o'clock in the evening and 200,000 people have registered for vaccination. The 40-44 age group will thus set a record in the number of registrations in one day," said Smart Quarantine.

The launch started started shortly before midnight, and faced brief technical problems for about an hour.

Rules for storing Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine relaxed

Storage of Covid-19 vaccines from Pfizer/BioNTech will be significantly easier. The European Medicines Agency (EMA)  on Monday recommended  extending the period during which the medicine can be stored in a normal refrigerator to one month. So far, the maximum recommended time for storage of the vaccine at two to eight degrees Celsius has been five days. Approximately 80 percent of people vaccinated in the Czech Republic received the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine.

Lowest Monday Covid increase since mid-September

The Covid-19 epidemic continued subsiding on Monday, with 1,126 new infections, the lowest Monday increase since mid-September. The vaccination pace slowed down, with 74,290 applied doses being 3,000 fewer than a week ago, according to Health Ministry's data. The Czech Republic saw 67 new COVID-19 cases per 100,000 inhabitants in the past seven days, four fewer than on Monday. Out of the 14 regions, only in Zlín, with 102 per 100,000, has a figure above 100. The reproduction number R increased from 0.81 on Monday to 0.82. Since mid-April, R has stayed below 1, thus indicating the epidemic's slowdown. In the past four days, the coronavirus daily death toll was under 20 per day.

Latest Covid-19 data from the Czech Ministry of Health (May 18, 2021)

  • New cases 1,126
  • Deaths 29,933
  • Currently hospitalized 1,351
  • PCR tests performed 7,036,440
  • Antigen tests performed 14,665,179
  • Total vaccinations 4,217,018
  • Daily increase in vaccinations 74,290
  • People who have completed vaccination 1,112,190
  • New cases per 100,000 in seven days 67
  • PES index 47
  • R number 0.82
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