Coronavirus update, May 3, 2021: Czech Republic sees nationwide relaxation of some restrictions today

Monday sees the return of more students to school and the reopening of self-care services nationwide and museums across several regions. Staff

Written by Staff Published on 03.05.2021 09:52:00 (updated on 03.05.2021) Reading time: 4 minutes

Hairdressers, schools, and galleries reopening

Hairdressers and other establishments associated with body and animal care can open today in the Czech Republic. In addition, in the regions with the lowest infection rates –Prague, Hradec Králové, Plzeň, Karlovy Vary, Central Bohemia, Liberec and Pardubice –students in the upper grades of elementary school are returning to the classes in rotation. Galleries and museums in those regions can also open, under strict rules. The number of regions where all children can go to kindergartens without masks or Covid testing will increase from three to seven. All stores and services in the Czech Republic will be able to open on May 10, regardless of the development of the epidemic, the government decided on Thursday.

People aged 50 to 54 can register for vaccination as of May 5

People between 50 and 54 years old can start registering for the Covid-19 vaccination in the Czech Republic as of Wednesday, Prime Minister Andrej Babiš said in his regular Sunday video on social media. He said he hoped all inhabitants over 16 can register as of June 1 at the latest.

"We are opening the registration for the age category of 50 to 54 years. There are 690,000 of these people according to our register. If it goes on this way and the supplies work, we can actually open the system to other age categories with a five-year difference every week," Babiš said.

Currently, the vaccination registration system is open to all aged over 55 years. Younger people with selected chronic diseases are also prioritized. Registration will open to those looking after another person and receiving a special benefit for care on today and the inoculation of university and college staff is being prepared. However, some seniors registered for the inoculation with their GPs are still waiting for vaccines.

Govt. to discuss rules for children's afterschool activities

The rules for children's clubs and activities with will be discussed by the government at its regular Monday meeting. The cabinet should also issue a resolution stating that testing in companies and offices will continue throughout June. According to the Minister of Industry and Trade Karel Havlíček, the government agreed on Thursday to continue testing, and the final resolution should be issued today. Employees going to work in person will have to take tests once a week. The cabinet will also decide whether to enter into proceedings before the Constitutional Court concerning the repeal of parts of the Pandemic Act.

 O2 universum vaccination center opens

The high-capacity Covid-19 vaccination center in the O2 universum arena in Prague’s Vysočany district will open today. It will have a capacity of up to 7,000 a day, though previously it was announced the capacity would be 10,000 a day. Prague's Central Military Hospital at the end of February signed a lease on the facility until the end on July. Originally, full operation was supposed to have started on April 11 but was delayed due to the lack of vaccines. Instead, the center began operating in a test mode on April 9, vaccinating members of the army, police, and paramedics. Prague also runs a smaller vaccination center in the Congress Centre in Vyšehrad.

High-capacity centers not fully used due to lack of vaccines

High-capacity Covid-19 vaccination centers opened in some Czech regions are not fully used due to the lack of vaccines, and some are running at only 50 percent. There are three such centers in the Zlín region. It expects to limit their operation as soon as a majority of inhabitants are inoculated. Vaccination will then return to hospitals and small healthcare facilities and will continue in the GPs' offices. The Ústí nad Labem has chosen a similar strategy, planning four high-capacity vaccination centers. The region will open the biggest one in a former university complex today. As soon as it has enough vaccine doses, the center will be able to vaccinate up to 2,000 people a day. The center in Plzeň, which has the capacity of 1,200 people a days, is vaccinating from only from Thursday to Sunday.

Fewest new cases since early September

There were 504 new cases of Covid-19 on Sunday, in a week-on-week comparison about 320 fewer and the lowest daily increase since last Sept. 6, according to Health Ministry data. Health workers vaccinated 19,796 people against coronavirus on Sunday, an increase of about 1,400 over the previous Sunday. Since the end of last year, healthcare professionals have administered 3.2 million doses of the vaccine, with 1.012 million people fully vaccinated. The reproduction number, indicating how many other people are infected by one person who tested positive, has risen to 0.89 from 0.88, but it is still been below the break-even value of 1.0 for 19 consecutive days.

Latest Covid-19 data from the Czech Ministry of Health (May 3, 2021)

  • New cases 504
  • Deaths 29,365
  • Currently hospitalized 2,378
  • PCR tests performed 6,789,558
  • Antigen tests performed 11,740,638
  • Reported vaccinations 3,201,704
  • New cases per 100,000 in seven days 134
  • PES index 46
  • R number 0.89
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