Czech restaurants and pubs to close by 10 p.m. from Thursday, says Health Minister

Restaurants, pubs, and bars in the Czech Republic will be ordered to close by 10 p.m., according to Roman Prymula


Written by ČTK Published on 23.09.2020 08:30:00 (updated on 23.09.2020) Reading time: 2 minutes

Prague, Sept 22 (CTK) - Restaurants and bars in the Czech Republic will have to close at 10 p.m. as of Thursday to curb the COVID-19 epidemic, new Health Minister Roman Prymula (for ANO) told the server.

Additionally, the state will limit the size of crowds at sports events from Thursday as well, Prymula stated.

Currently, restaurants and similar establishments need to be closed between midnight and 6:00 a.m.

The audience at outdoor sports events should be limited to some 2,000 sitting viewers, Prymula said, adding that he consulted Government Sports Commissioner Milan Hnilička on the limitation.

The Health Ministry will declare the new regulation on Wednesday.

"Unfortunately this is one of the riskiest places. The measure to limit opening times until 10 p.m. will really be taken. We will declare it on Wednesday," Prymula told the server.

The new closing time would be valid for two weeks, the same as the limitation of sports events audience, Prymula told public Czech Television (CT).

If the disease rate indicators successfully decrease in two weeks, the restrictive measures will be lifted again, he added.

The decisive factor will be the development of the daily numbers of new COVID-19 cases, the number of hospitalized patients with COVID-19, and the reproduction (R) number, that is the number of people infected by one person, he stressed.

He said then that the closing time of restaurants would be changed and that mass events might be limited to 100 participants at outdoor events and 50 in indoor ones, with some exceptions for less risky events. He mentioned some cultural events with sitting audience.

Prymula said he did not intend to introduce anti-coronavirus measures that would handicap the economy. He also told the SeznamZpravy server on Monday that he would like to dramatically improve the ministry's communication concerning the coronavirus epidemic.

Both restaurant operators and the Czech Chamber of Commerce have criticized the restricted opening hours.

Safety rules are observed and the infection risk is already minimized in restaurants, Association of Hotels and Restaurants head Václav Stárek said.

According to the Chamber of Commerce, restaurants operators deserve an explanation of the further restriction of opening hours.

The Chamber says the government has been restricting areas that have produced a minimum number of COVID-19 infected, as official health data shows.

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