Coronavirus update, May 25, 2021: Eat inside and swim outside – Czech govt. confirms more reopenings

Plus: choirs will be able to sing again, conventions and meetings can take place, and up to 150 people can meet outside for celebrations. Staff

Written by Staff Published on 25.05.2021 09:57:00 (updated on 25.05.2021) Reading time: 4 minutes

Guided tours in museums can start next week

Guided tours for up to 10 people will be allowed in museums, galleries, and other heritage sites as of May 31, Health Minister Petr Arenberger said after the Monday cabinet meeting. Up to 30 people may join the tour if they recovered from Covid-19, were vaccinated, or negatively tested.

Choirs can sing again

The government decided that choirs up to 30 persons can sing as of May 31 . if they meet one the three conditions concerning the coronavirus infection and respect the minimum distance of two meters from one another. Those singing can take off their face masks or respirators, but a list of the participants needs to be made so that they can be contacted if the infection is revealed in one of the participants, Health Minister Petr Arenbergerr said.

Outdoor pools to reopen

Outdoor pools will be able to open to 50 percent of the capacity from May 31, Health Minister Petr Arenberger said after the government meeting. Guests will have to use one of the three methods of proving they are not at risk of spreading Covid. Locker rooms will remain closed except for transiting to the pool.

New limits for sports and celebrations

During sports, gatherings, or celebrations, 75 people will be able to be inside and 150 outside as of May 31 when proving they have a recent Covid test, vaccination or recovery. From next Monday, it will be necessary to use face coverings at youth events only where it is not possible to keep the two-meter spacing.

Conferences and conventions can restart

Up to 250 persons may take part in congresses and conferences as of May 31, provided that maximally half of the capacity of the indoor space is used, Health Minister Petr Arenberger said. The participants must have their own seat and have vacant seats next to them. He said the rules will be the same for organizers of education events and exams as of May 31. Until then, the presence of up to 50 persons indoors and up to 100 persons outdoors is permitted.

Confirmed: Restaurant interiors to reopen

The government plans to reopen restaurant indoor premises as of June 14 unless the epidemiological situation worsens, Health Minister Petr Arenberger said after the government meeting, confirming what Prime Minister Andrej Babiš said on Sunday. Proof of vaccination, a negative Covid test, or recovery will be needed. Spacing and capacity requirements have not been announced. 

Czech travel certificate to be ready as of June 1

In the near future, traveling will be facilitated by a unified European certificate for people to produce when traveling abroad, Health Minister Petr Arenberger said. The Czech certificate showing if someone has been vaccinated, tested negative or recovered from Covid will be available for downloading from the National Health Information and Statistics Institute's (ÚZIS) website as of June 1. The cabinet is also negotiating about mutual acknowledgment of vaccination certificates issued abroad, Arenberger said.

People aged 30 to 34 can start to be vaccinated

People aged 30 to 34 can start registering to be vaccinated as of midnight tonight. Previously, registration has opened up about an hour earlier to spread out web traffic. People ages 16 and over should start to be able to register at the start of June. People aged 35 to 39 could register as of Sunday at midnight, and by 1 p.m. on Monday, over 100,000 had done so according to the Smart Quarantine project. About 70 percent of the entire population needs to be vaccinated to induce collective immunity. As of May 24, at least 21 days after the first vaccine dose or up to six months since having been Covid infected suffice as protection, for the purposes of attending events or venues. 

Two PCR, four antigen tests covered by insurance in June

Czechs will see two PCR tests for Covid-19 and four antigen tests covered by public health insurance in June, Health Minister Petr Arenberger said after the cabinet meeting.

"For the [summer] holidays, we are preparing a special regime to make PCR as well as antigen tests available for free to travelers. But we will still discuss this at one of the next cabinet meetings," Arenberger said.

Currently, people are eligible for a free antigen test once in three days. A PCR test will cost the health insurer about CZK 600, compared with CZK 1,200 that the insurers pay for it to healthcare facilities currently. An antigen test will newly cost CZK 250. A negative PCR test is recognized as valid for seven days, an antigen test for 48 or 72 hours depending on the type of the visited premises or event.

Number of new cases continues to drop

Tests on Monday confirmed 695 cases of coronavirus, similar to Friday and more than one-third less than a week ago. The number of people infected in the last week, calculated per 100,000 inhabitants, dropped to 43, the day before it was 47, according to Health Ministry data. In the Zlín region, which remains the most affected, the number of infections per 100,000 inhabitants has dropped from 69 to 66 in the last seven days. The Karlovy Vary region, which has the lowest incidence, dropped from 15 to 11. The national reproduction number R, which indicates the rate of spread of the epidemic, remained at 0.7 for the fifth day in a row. 

Latest Covid-19 data from the Czech Ministry of Health (May 25, 2021)

  • New cases 695
  • Deaths 30,041
  • Currently hospitalized 816
  • PCR tests performed 7,180,503
  • Antigen tests performed 16,069,737
  • Total vaccinations 4,737,687
  • Daily increase in vaccinations 74,833
  • People who have completed vaccination 1,245,941
  • New cases per 100,000 in seven days 43
  • PES index 41
  • R number 0.73
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