Czech morning news in brief: Top stories for Dec. 15, 2020

Restaurants to close and new curfew from Friday, to-go coffee is back on the menu, and 40 years since trams last operated on Wenceslas Square

Tom Lane

Written by Tom Lane
Published on 15.12.2020 08:54 (updated on 15.12.2020)

Anti-COVID measures to be implemented

The PES system of anti-COVID measures will be moved back to the fourth tier meaning restaurants will be closed from Friday, along with a new curfew from 11pm-5am. Schools will also finish on Friday as opposed to early next week under the restrictions, while ski resorts will be allowed to open, but people will not be able to stay at the resorts overnight.

Hotels, swimming pools, and fitness centers must close as well. Shops, services, and salons, however, may remain open. Read more here.

Takeaway coffee back on the menu

While the government has implemented a number of tougher measures from Friday, the planned ban on getting to-go beverages from restaurant fronts has been reversed. It was confirmed last night with Minister of Health Jan Blatný saying it is now “explicitly written that it only applies to alcoholic beverages.” Read the full story here.

Travelling via Saxony route may not break COVID rules

Czechs do not violate any COVID pandemic rules if they decide to shorten their journey via Saxony, according to Saxony's Labour and Social Affairs Ministry, which is responsible for the healthcare and quarantine measures.

CTK reports that the Czech consulate in Dresden does not recommend to Czechs that they shorten their way because it has information on some fined Czechs. Last Friday, the Czech Foreign Ministry warned of transit across Saxony, especially of the journeys from the Sluknov Hook area.

"However, one should bear in mind that if someone as a transiting traveller does not leave (Saxony) as fast as possible, but stops for, e.g., shopping, such people may be fined," the ministry said.

Read full details here.

Artificial intelligence writes five Czech short stories

A new project has seen five short stories written by artificial intelligence and read by a number of renowned Czech Actors. The Digital Writer project is available in a mobile application and on the mujRozhlas.cz website, Czech Radio spokesperson Blanka Bumbalkova told CTK.

AI has created a science-fiction story entitled War in Heaven, a horror story (A Boy and His Dog), a love story (It Must Stay Like That For Ever), a detective story (A Spy who Came from War) and a historical novel (Da Vinci's Machines). See more here.

40 years since trams ran on Wenceslas Square

This week marks 40 years since trams last ran on Wenceslas Square, with the service abolished on Dec. 13, 1980. Last year local government approved plans to return trams to the Square as early as 2022. The new line will eventually connect Prague’s busy Vinohradská street with the Václavské náměstí tram stop in the middle of Wenceslas Square, with a new station being added at the top of the Square. Read more here.

Former Premier League Champions coming to Prague

Slavia Prague has been drawn to face former Premier League champions Leicester City in the last-32 of the UEFA Europa League. Leicester will travel to Prague on Feb. 18 with the away leg in England taking place a week later. Leicester finished top of their group which contained AEK Athens, Braga and FC Zorya Luhansk meaning they were seeded for the draw which took place yesterday. Slavia were unseeded after losing the final game of their group 4-0 away at Bayer Leverkusen.