Crowds at Czech sporting events to be limited due to COVID-19 resurgence

A maximum of 2,000 people will be able to attend outdoor events, and 1,000 at indoor arenas, says the new Czech Health Minister


Written by ČTK Published on 23.09.2020 08:45:00 (updated on 23.09.2020) Reading time: 2 minutes

Prague, Sept 22 (CTK) - The audience at outdoor sporting events in the Czech Republic should be limited to about 2,000 sitting viewers, new Health Minister Roman Prymula (for ANO) told journalists today.

When it comes to indoor arenas, 1,000 fans will be permitted.

Prymula said he had consulted Government Sports Commissioner Milan Hnilička on the limitation.

Prymula added that in this respect, the Czech Republic had more liberal rules than neighboring countries.

Even the planned limited number of viewers at sports events will be still relatively high, Prymula said, adding that he expected the audience to be spread out at the stadiums and the chance of being infected low.

The ministry will declare the new rules on Wednesday. If there is a positive development of the epidemiological situation, it may only be effective for two weeks, Prymula said.

After the lockdown measures were previously eased, more than the original limit of 5,000 fans have been allowed to attend outdoor sporting events since early September.

Fans have been allowed fill over one-half of the capacity of a stadium. Thanks to this, as many as 10,500 of them could attend games at the Slavia Praha stadium in Prague, for instance.

Prymula said he only wanted to declare the new measures for two weeks. "If the curve flattens, they will be cancelled," he added.

Some sports managers were alarmed at the prepared limitation of mass events in order to slow down the coronavirus spread.

Due to the expected measures, some football clubs have already stopped selling tickets to future games.

Hnilička discussed the current situation with government officials, including Prymula and chief public health officer Jarmila Rážová.

"I have been in long-standing contact with them when it comes to the negotiation on rules for sports within the current limitations and measures. We are trying to negotiate the best conditions for sports," he said.

Last week, the National Sports Agency released a manual on the safe organization of sporting events during the time of the COVID-19 pandemic. It said their cancellation was extremely dangerous.

"Above all, the Czech Republic might lose an entire generation of young athletes," the agency warned.

"In fact, active practicing of sports supports resilience to infectious diseases in general," it added.

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