Czech Prime Minister warns of total lockdown if anti-COVID-19 measures aren't followed

"I beg you, it's the weekend, stay home," Babiš said at Friday afternoon's press conference; "If you can, work from home next week," he added

Jason Pirodsky

Written by Jason Pirodsky
Published on 09.10.2020 14:14 (updated on 12.10.2020)

The Czech Republic will be forced to introduce further restrictions to fight the current COVID-19 epidemic unless everybody observes the new regulations, Czech Prime Minister Andrej Babiš stated at a press conference this afternoon.

Babiš did not rule out a complete lockdown of the country, and a halting of the Czech economy, similar to measures taken earlier this year.

The Czech Republic was on lockdown in the spring after the epidemic outbreak in the country, with international travel heavily restricted and most shops and non-essential services closed down.

"The virus is behaving differently than at the beginning of the year," said Babiš.

"People's opinion on wearing a face mask has fundamentally changed, and seven percent of Czechs never wear one."

Babiš called on people to stop downplaying the situation related to the spread of the infection and asked them to follow the rules, even if they are fed up with all the measures.

"The situation is very serious. We have a high incidence of the virus and there is community transmission."

"Either we will all comply with the measures, or we will have to take further restrictive steps," Babiš emphasized.

According to Health Minister Roman Prymula, who spoke with Babiš during the press conference, a revision of the current measures will be announced by the end of next week.

If the number of COVID-19 cases in the Czech Republic continues to increase until then, the current measures will be strengthened.

Prymula said that while the government does not currently plan on taking such a drastic step, the most severe measures would result in all residents staying at home, and not even going to work.

"I beg you, it's the weekend, stay home," Babiš pleaded with Czech residents.

"If you can, work from home next week."