Coronavirus update, May 24, 2021: Here's what changes from today in the Czech Republic

Theaters and cinemas reopen, more people go to the gym, and all schools end rotation; restaurant interiors could reopen June 14. Staff

Written by Staff Published on 24.05.2021 09:42:00 (updated on 24.05.2021) Reading time: 5 minutes

Theaters and cinemas can open to spectators

Theaters, cinemas, concert halls, and circuses can reopen the halls for spectators after a several-month break. Cultural events inside can take place with the participation of a maximum of 500 people, the organizers can occupy a maximum of half the capacity of the halls. Open-air events can be attended by up to 1,000 people, so far the stop was 700 people. Even in this case, a maximum of half the capacity of the space must be filled. But many theaters are wasting for June for performances inside. Cinema multiplexes are also waiting until capacity is increased and refreshments can be sold. The condition for participation in all events is and will be either a negative test, three weeks from the first dose of vaccination, or a maximum of 180 days from recovery Covid-19. Both types of events can only be attended by seated spectators and must wear a respirator. Some theater operators and festival organizers are demanding that, like restaurateurs, they be exempted from checking certificates.

Hotels open to tourists after more than five months

Accommodation facilities such as hotels and hostels can reopen to tourists after more than five months as of today. Upon arrival, people must present a negative PCR or antigen test not older than 48 hours, a vaccination certificate, or proof of recovery from Covid-19 in the past 180 days. A guest with a negative test will be able to stay for seven days, for longer stays the test will need to be repeated. According to ČTK, some hotels in the capital have set up their own test centers. Accommodated guests can be served in the hotel restaurants from 6 a.m. to 9:59 p.m. It is forbidden to have self-service buffets. Wellness facilities, including saunas and salt caves, must remain closed. Indoor fitness centers and gyms can operate with capacity restrictions.

Capacity increases at sports facilities and gyms

Up to 12 people are now able to practice collectively sports at indoor sports facilities as of today, instead of the previous limit of two. The number of people who may practice sports in the whole area of a sports ground has increased to 30 from 10. The rules can also be applied for physical education at school.

Zoo and botanical gardens can reopen indoor spaces

Zoos and botanical gardens can also open indoor pavilions and exhibitions; so far, visitors have only been allowed in outdoor areas. There will be a limit of 15 square meters of indoor area per visitor. Zoos and botanical gardens have been operating at 50 percent occupancy since May 17.

All Czech schools return to regular instruction

All elementary schools and secondary schools return to regular instruction without any rotation as of today. 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 can renew theoretical teaching. There will be the condition of the 1.5 meter distance with the exception of practical studies and work in laboratories. Most elementary schools had already stopped rotation except for upper grades in the regions with the highest infection rates.

Babiš: Restaurants could reopen in mid-June

Restaurants might reopen on June 14, as part of a long-term strategy the government Health Risks Council will discuss on Monday on the proposal of chief public health officer Pavla Svrčinová, Prime Minister Andrej Babiš said. Then the government may deal with the issue. As of June 14, restaurants and fitness centers locker rooms may be open with clear rules, Babiš said. Currently, people can only go to restaurant gardens. Outdoor concerts and theater performances could be attended by 2,000 viewers, the events held indoors by 1,000, Babiš said. Children's summer camps may take place without any limitations of capacity, provided there is testing as of July, he added.

Negative Covid-19 test no longer required three weeks after dose

People who have received their first dose of a Covid-19 vaccine in the Czech Republic more than three weeks ago will no longer need to provide a negative test at venues where they are required as of today. Previously, only full vaccination or recovery had been recognized as an alternative to Covid-19 testing. Czech chief public health officer Pavla Svrčinová added that proof of the first dose of the vaccine will only be accepted in lieu of a test for three months after the dose was applied. See our full story here.

Sports competitions could start at the end of May

Under a plan being proposed today to the government Health Risks Council, amateur sports competitions may reopen by the end of May. Besides, 150 people may practice sports outdoors and 75 indoors, Prime Minister Andrej Babiš said. Zoos and botanical gardens may be open without any limitations, he added.

Returning vacationers to be tested

Under a plan being proposed today to the government Health Risks Council, people would be coronavirus tested after their return from holidays, Prime Minister Andrej Babiš said. "We will have to be tested when returning from the holidays. We must protect our country against any mutations that might come from abroad," Babiš said.

People aged 35 to 39 can start to be vaccinated

People aged 35 to 39 can start vaccinating against Covid-19. Officially, the application was supposed to start at midnight on Sunday, but in the last two waves, the registrations were released about an hour earlier. Based on age or other factors, the vaccine can now be given to more than 6.6 million inhabitants of the Czech Republic. According to data from the Ministry of Health, 4.6 million people have already received the vaccine. About 70 percent of the entire population needs to be vaccinated to induce collective immunity. Registration opens for people 30 to 34 at midnight on Tuesday.

Lowest number of newly infected on a Sunday since Aug. 23

There were 197 cases of coronavirus on Sunday, the least since Aug. 23 on a Sunday. It's also about a quarter less than a week ago. The newly infected per 100,000 inhabitants in the last week remained at 47, which is at least since the beginning of August, according to Health Ministry data. Health workers gave out 29,660 doses of Covid-19 vaccination on Sunday, the most on a Sunday since vaccination began at the end of last year. The reproduction number R, which indicates the rate of spread of the epidemic, remains at 0.7 for the fourth day.  

Latest Covid-19 data from the Czech Ministry of Health (May 24, 2021)

  • New cases 197
  • Deaths 30,028
  • Currently hospitalized 820
  • PCR tests performed 7.154.051
  • Antigen tests performed 15,796,201
  • Total vaccinations 4,658,315
  • Daily increase in vaccinations 29,660
  • People who have completed vaccination 1,204,149 (not updated)
  • New cases per 100,000 in seven days 47
  • PES index 41
  • R number 0.74
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