Coronavirus update, Sept. 1, 2021: Czech cultural and sports venues can now be filled to capacity

Plus: Testing for Covid-19 begins in schools today, court rules isolation over Covid cannot be imposed by phone, R number over 1.0 for seventh day. Staff

Written by Staff Published on 01.09.2021 09:52:00 (updated on 01.09.2021) Reading time: 5 minutes

Cultural and sports venues can now be filled to capacity

Operators of cultural and sports events can fill the capacity of the hall 100 percent from today. For up to 3,000 visitors, the proportion of visitors with a valid coronavirus test, vaccination, or recovery won’t matter. With a higher number, at least half of the capacity must be occupied by people who are fully vaccinated or have undergone Covid. At the same time, the capacity of museums, galleries, castles, and zoos is increasing to 100 percent. In restaurants, it is now officially allowed to occupy one table by six people instead of the current four, unless they belong to one household. It will now be possible to use online testing, for example in a hairdresser's or to enter mass events. It is a test in which a person tests himself under the supervision of a medical professional who is connected via a webcam. Such a test will be valid for 24 hours.

Testing for Covid-19 begins in schools today

Testing for Covid-19 begins today in schools after a two-month holiday. For the first time, around 110,300 first-graders will sit on the benches, or about 1,700 more than last year. As last year, due to the covid-19 epidemic, some stricter hygiene measures await them, such as more frequent use of disinfection or ventilation. In addition, face masks will be mandatory in the corridors and common spaces. Students must be tested for Covid-19 today and tomorrow. Other dates for antigen testing follow Sept. 6 and 9. If there are more than 25 positive cases per 100,000 tests performed in schools in one district, testing will continue there until the end of September, once a week. See our full story here.

Education minister: No widespread closures of schools planned

According to the Minister of Education Robert Plaga, no general closure of schools is planned as part of an anti-Covid strategy. However, he did not rule out the local closure of classes and schools, depending on the epidemic situation in the facility. Plaga made the announcement in Sadská in the Central Bohemia region, where he started the school year at the local primary school.

"I hope we have all had the opportunity to see that outages in education, which at first glance seem to be cost-free, are indeed the biggest losses for society," Plaga said.

"We are all looking forward to the outcome of the screening investigation and what the local interventions of the regional hygienic stations and the chief hygienist will be," said Plaga. At the beginning of the school year, teachers will find out the current level of education of individual children after the past non-standard school year, he added.

Covid test will still be covered by insurance


Preventive tests for Covid-19, which are needed, for example, when traveling, or visiting cultural events, restaurants or some services, will continue to be covered by health insurance. The government originally wanted all adults to have to pay for them as of today, with some exceptions, in order to motivate other people to get vaccinated. Finally, it decided that the tests would continue to be free for all interested parties, due to the unfavorable development of the coronavirus epidemic in some European countries.

Court: Isolation over Covid cannot be imposed by phone

Public health offices cannot order a quarantine to a person suspected of Covid infection by phone, but an individual official decision under the administrative order is needed, the Czech Supreme Administrative Court (NSS) has ruled, rejecting a complaint by the Jihlava regional public health office. The office challenged the verdict of the Regional Court in Brno that called such a call to a family in the Vysočina region last year an unlawful infringement that makes an impression of a serious character though it was not a due decision. The NSS concluded that a public health official's instruction by phone cannot be con

Approach to school attendance changing over Covid

People's interest in their children's individual home schooling and postponed elementary school entry grew in the past school year, in part due to the Covid-19 epidemic that made some parents keep their children at home, the Czech Statistical Office (ČSÚ) experts told media. Kindergartens, on their part, saw a 20-percent decrease in the number of children under three. The share of children under three in kindergartens dropped from 12.5 percent in 2018-19 to 9.7 percent in 2020-21. As for the children with compulsory school attendance, their parents' preference of the type of schooling changed in the past months. They have shown a rising interest in individual home schooling with the pupil only visiting the school to take exams. In addition, the popularity of private elementary schools continued to rise last year.  

Slovakia ends vaccination with Russian Sputnik V

Only about 18,500 of the 5.5-million inhabitants of Slovakia have opted for the Russian anti-Covid vaccine Sputnik V, the Health Ministry announced. The use of Sputnik ended yesterday when the imported doses expired. The use of Sputnik V did not significantly help Slovakia increase the share of the population inoculated against Covid-19. In early March, Slovakia imported 200,000 doses of Sputnik V, sufficient to inoculate 100,000 people. Slovakia did not accepted further consignments, although the original contract suggested the delivery of up to two million doses. From the first consignment, Slovakia sold up to 160,000 doses to Russia.

R number above 1.0 for seventh day

There were 287 new Covid cases reported for Tuesday, up from 247 a week ago. Hospitalizations dropped to 52 from 56 a day earlier, with nine people in serious condition, down by one. No deaths were reported for the second day in a row. The toll for August was 26, but that could be revised due to late reporting. The incidence number of new cases per 100,000 remained at 13. The reproduction number R remained at 1.05, and has been over the break-even point of 1.0 for the seventh day in a row. For Prague, the incidence number remained at 28. The R number is at 0.90.

Latest Covid-19 data from the Czech Ministry of Health (Sept. 1, 2021)

  • New cases 287
  • Deaths 30,404
  • Currently hospitalized 51
  • PCR tests performed 10,028,451
  • Antigen tests performed 25,989,699
  • Total vaccinations 11,476,073
  • Daily increase in vaccinations 22,391
  • People who have completed vaccination 5,730,516
  • New cases per 100,000 in seven days 13
  • PES index 33
  • R number 1.05
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