From June 15: popcorn at the movies and food at the farmers' market, but what about masks?

These are the changes to look for from June 15; train travel is restored to its normal schedule and international travel according to the government's "traffic light" system

Elizabeth Zahradnicek-Haas

Written by Elizabeth Zahradnicek-Haas Published on 12.06.2020 16:01:58 (updated on 12.06.2020) Reading time: 3 minutes

Monday, June 15, sees the lifting of further restrictions imposed by the Czech government during the coronavirus outbreak.

Some significant and some minor changes will take place — including rules on purchasing refreshments as well as the return of normally scheduled train service throughout the Czech Republic.

However, a number of measures, including the wearing of masks are still in discussion, according to Ceske Noviny.

Eat popcorn at the movies and food at the farmer’s market

From June 15, it will be possible to buy snacks in theaters and cinemas which may seem like good news for theater owners who have seen a downturn in attendance due to the ban as well as social distancing rules that required empty seats between moviegoers. That rule was lifted last week.

But while refreshments will be on offer from Monday, you won’t yet be able to take them into the screening area, as it “remains risky to take off the masks,” said Minister of Health Adam Vojtěch (YES) speaking at a press briefing Thursday.

The effects of the popcorn ban have been bad for business according to Jan Bradáč, head of the CineStar network who told that, “It doesn’t seem like a major problem for people outside the industry, but it can have a fatal domino effect that will be felt by the entire film industry.”

Vendors will also be able to sell food at the farmer’s markets from Monday. While farmers’ markets resumed operation in the Czech Republic on April 20 and restaurant gardens and food stalls reopened since May 11, farmer’s markets had to stop serving food a week later, a move that many considered discriminatory.

Train travel and travel abroad resumes

From Monday, Czech Railways will restore all long-distance and almost 98 percent of regional trains on its lines, says CTK. The Czech Republic will also allow residents to travel without restrictions or the need for a negative COVID-19 test to 19 “safe” countries according to its traffic light measures.

All planned connections between Prague, Tábor, and České Budějovice will operate as will Pendolino connections between Prague and Ostrava. In some regions, including the Liberec area, some restrictions imposed due to the coronavirus pandemic will continue.

Czech railways will also expand operations to Austria and Germany over the next week; RegioJet is will concentrating on further expansion of connections abroad; on Thursday it sent a train from Prague to Vienna for the first time, and on Thursday the carrier launched the sale of tickets for trains to Croatia, which will start running at the end of the month.

Leo Express, which halted almost 90 percent of its connections during the crisis, will start full operation on all domestic routes from Monday. Its most popular routes are weekend connections from Prague to Moravia. The carrier anticipates further growth in the number of passengers with the renewal of routes abroad, especially to Slovakia and Poland.

What’s next and what about face masks?

From June 22, events for up to 1,000 participants should be able to take place again, minister Vojtěch said.

He added that epidemiologists will continue to discuss mask-wearing measures and will likely come to a decision about them Tuesday. Currently the obligation to wear a mask in the interior of buildings, in public spaces, and on public transport still applies.

It is likely that the rules for wearing masks will change, said the minister. They will likely still be required only in public transport and where there is a higher risk of infection but could become voluntary elsewhere.

Questions about summer travel? We’ll host a Facebook live on June 17 at 2:30 pm!

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