Coronavirus update, May 31, 2021: Inside dining, pools, saunas, more reopen in Czech Republic today

Plus: Fewest new Covid cases since Aug. 2, and health minister Vojtěch plans blanket PCR testing at schools as of September. Staff

Written by Staff Published on 31.05.2021 09:26:00 (updated on 31.05.2021) Reading time: 4 minutes

Restaurants, pools, saunas, and casinos reopen

Measures against the spread of Covid-19 are further relaxed in the Czech Republic today. Following the Health Ministry decision announced Friday, the interiors of the restaurants will reopen after more than five months. Outdoor and indoor swimming pools, saunas, spas, clubs, discos, and casinos can also resume operations. Conventions and other mass events can be attended by more people than before, and the number of people playing sports indoors has been increased. The ban on group tours of monuments or museums also ends and outdoor schools can start. Dancing is not allowed in discos. People must continue to show a negative test for coronavirus, vaccination, or confirmation of recovery from Covid-19. A maximum of four people can then sit at the table and it is necessary to keep the spacing or cover the mouth and nose out of consumption. According to the Minister of Health Adam Vojtěch restaurants are the only facilities where guests can submit a self-test for coronavirus. In all others, only the test from the official sampling center is valid. See our full story here.

People aged 16-29 can register vaccination as of June 4

People aged 16 to 29 can register for the Covid vaccination in Czechia in the night from Thursday to Friday, June 4, Prime Minister Andrej Babiš tweeted. There are some 1.485 million in this age category, he added.

"I believe that even the youngest people will express a high interest (in the vaccination)," Babiš wrote.

It had been previously expected that registration would open on June 1 to those aged over 16 or just to the group of 25-29 years would be made on Sunday. It was postponed due the fact that many people are still waiting for the vaccine doses. See our full story here.

Vojtěch plans blanket PCR testing at schools as of September

Health Minister Adam Vojtěch plans a blanket testing of children for Covid-19 by PCR tests as of the beginning of the school year in September and wants to discuss this with Education Minister Robert Plaga on Monday, Vojtěch said on CNN Prima News TV. Vojtěch defended the step by the effort to prevent new infection clusters from emerging at schools, which had occurred last year after children's return from the summer holiday. No final agreement exists in this respect yet, he added. However, he expected the PCR tests to be organized rather within schools. Vojtěch said he would like to draft a clear strategy by the end of June for the schools to be able to prepare in time and inform the parents about it.

Switching dates for second dose difficult at large centers

Many people have reported problems with the automatically assigned date for a second vaccination dose due to already-booked vacation plans. People who get their vaccination from a general practitioner can ask to swap dates with another patient, according to doctors cited by Lidové noviny. Many large vaccination centers, though, are unwilling to change dates due to logistical problems. Head hygienist Pavla Svrčinová, on behalf of the Ministry of Health, previously said the only excuse for missing the second date of vaccination is illness. If someone hasn’t had a the first dose yet, then they can cancel the process and restart it to get better dates.

"If we cater to one, we have to accommodate the others, and given that there were dozens of requests a day from the beginning, there could now be hundreds that want to move, and unfortunately this is not within the capacity of such a large vaccination center," University Hospital Brno spokeswoman Veronika Plaché said.

One person cited by Lidové noviny said he was able to change the date of the second dose at the O2 universum center by calling the helpline at 1221 after he couldn’t make the change directly with the center. Some regional vaccination coordinators have already begun to point out that people are reluctant to arrive for the second dose, since they only need to be three weeks after the first dose to travel to certain countries and visit services.

Self-employed can apply for nursing bonus

Self-employed persons who have had to reduce their business due to the care of a child under 10 years of age or a disabled person due to the closure of schools and social facilities can apply for nursing allowance for April and May from 9 a.m. today. Those interested in nursing must fill in the online form for the fastest processing of the application, the Ministry of Industry and Trade recommends submitting it with its own data box. People can also send it by e-mail with a recognized electronic signature, or by mail.  

Sunday's 113 Covid cases are fewest since Aug. 2

There were 113 new Covid-19 cases on Sunday, which is 83 fewer than a week ago and the lowest daily increase since Aug. 2, when 101 new cases were reported, Health Ministry data shows. The reproduction number R rose to 0.8 today from Sunday's 0.72. It has kept below the breaking point of 1 since April 14, which is 47 days in a row. The country has seen 28,303 new cases in May so far, which means the average daily increase by 943. The highest daily increase this month was 2,416 on Tuesday, May 4. The epidemic has continued receding in May. In April, the country saw almost 93,200 new cases and the average daily increase of 3,106. A total of 629 Covid patients died in May so far, 21 a day on average. Last week, the daily death toll never exceeded 12.

Latest Covid-19 data from the Czech Ministry of Health (May 31, 2021)

  • New cases 113
  • Deaths 30 108
  • Currently hospitalized 491
  • PCR tests performed 7,279,741
  • Antigen tests performed 17,093,973
  • Total vaccinations 5,218,687
  • Daily increase in vaccinations 34,414
  • People who have completed vaccination 1,442,131
  • New cases per 100,000 in seven days 34
  • PES index 36
  • R number 0.80
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