Czech Labor and Social Affairs Minister photographed violating pandemic rules

The Social Democrat skipped an online government meeting to hang out with social media fans at Kasárna Karlín; hygiene officials will deal with the matter.

Raymond Johnston

Written by Raymond Johnston Published on 17.08.2021 16:58 (updated on 17.08.2021) Reading time: 2 minutes

Czech Labor and Social Affairs Minister Jana Maláčová posted a photo of herself breaking Covid distancing rules at a pub on Monday night. The photo appeared on her own Twitter account.

Health Minister Adam Vojtěch says hygiene authorities will have to deal with the image, which shows Maláčová sitting at a table in a restaurant with about a dozen people, which is more than the four people permitted at a table under the current rules. Vojtěch told a press conference that the measure applies to everyone.

Vojtěch added that the photo seems to have been taken around the time the government was meeting online to discuss pandemic rules. At that meeting, the government extended the number of seats allowed at tables in restaurants to six, but only as of the start of September, among other changes.

“It wasn’t a precisely organized event. More people came than I expected. We addressed the expensive housing that young people are struggling with. In the heat of the debate, I forgot to keep track of how many of us were at the table,” Maláčová told the Czech News Agency (ČTK).

She added that she was willing to pay a fine if one was levied.

Prime Minister Andrej Babiš told reporters that it was a pity Maláčová was not at the online government meeting. "She would have learned that there are new rules," he noted.

What should happen to Labor and Social Affairs Minister Jana Maláčová?

She should be dismissed. 18 %
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Babiš added that she could have made the online meeting if she wanted to, but instead the material from the Labor and Social Affairs Ministry was submitted by an assistant.

He declined further comment due to the upcoming October general elections. While Maláčová is in the cabinet, she is from the left-wing Social Democrats (ČSSD). Babiš is leader of the center-right Ano movement.

Maláčová posted the image on Twitter on Monday evening, with the caption: "A pleasant evening with a lot of young hope from left-wing Twitter.”

The photo was taken at Kasárna Karlín in Prague's Karlín district.

This is not the first time that a cabinet minister has been photographed violating pandemic rules. In October 2020, then-health minister Roman Prymula eventually had to resign for violating the restaurateur rules from that time. A photograph showed him leaving a restaurant when interiors were supposed to be closed.

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