Czech Republic coronavirus updates, Dec. 8: restaurant opening hours reduced, no shopping in Germany

COVID death-toll passes 9,000, restaurants and pubs must close early, govt. plans to extend state of emergency.

Samantha Tatro

Written by Samantha Tatro Published on 08.12.2020 08:37:00 (updated on 08.12.2020) Reading time: 3 minutes

For the third day in a row, the Czech Republic reported a PES score corresponding to the fourth risk level, but officials don't plan to tighten up restrictions just yet.

The country reported 4,239 new COVID-19 cases on Monday, according to new data from the Health Ministry. The numbers represent a rising number of COVID-19 cases, particularly since restrictions were loosened.

Despite the low number of cases, the country's positivity rate remains high, with a reported 20 percent of people testing positive for the virus on Monday.

The country has reported now reported a PES score above 60 for three days in a row. A score above 60 on the PES anti-pandemic index corresponds to a stricter fourth level of anti-COVID-19 measures and, if the score remains above 60 for the coming days, officials may put in place tighter measures.

Officials have not indicated yet whether they plan to move the country to the fourth level of restrictions, but some measures have already been tightened. Starting Wednesday evening, pubs, bars and restaurants must close by 8 p.m. Health Minister Jan Blatný has said it's because restaurants and bars have been abusing the window sales at night.

"It's even about setting up so-called heated tents by the windows. There are crowded bars, food and alcohol consumption in public and at Christmas markets, even if it is in conflict with regulations," said Blatný. The take-out windows must close at 8 p.m. as well, he clarified.

The Health Minister asserts these claims, even though police spokesperson Eva Kropáčová told the press this past weekend, "We did not encounter any violations and did not see any restaurants open after the 10 p.m. deadline."

The government also plans to extend the State of Emergency by another 30 days, according to iDnes.

Since March, the Czech Republic has reported a total of 551,070 COVID-19 cases, the majority of which were reported in September and October. Of those, there have been 484,781 recoveries, with 57,253 known active cases.

The number of patients in hospitals has been steadily decreasing as well. There are currently 4,348 COVID-19 patients in Czech hospitals, with 543 of those in serious condition.

For the first time, the country has surpassed 9,000 deaths due to coronavirus.

The most-affected region in the Czech Republic over the past two weeks by far continues to be Havlíčkův Brod, which has reported about 517 new cases per 100,000 residents over the past week.

The Czech Republic is no longer the most affected state in the EU; the country now ranks far below countries like Lithuania, Slovenia and Croatia, with about 512 COVID-19 cases per 100,000 residents, according to the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control.

Luxembourg has the worst COVID-19 situation in the EU right now with more than 1,100 cases per 100,000 in the past 14 days; Croatia is not far behind.

Germany is tightening up restrictions for Czech residents who head to Germany to go shopping. Starting Wednesday, Czechs cannot cross the border to go shopping without quarantining for 10 days. The ban will last until January 5, 2021.

"The Bavarian government has decided to tighten anti-pandemic measures. It is essential for the Czech Republic that from Wednesday 9 December 2020, the so-called small border traffic will be banned (it will therefore not be possible to go shopping there). However, for commuters and family members, crossing borders is possible without quarantine and without the need to submit a negative test. The measures taken by the Bavarian government will be valid for the time being until 5 January 2021," the ministry tweeted.

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