Czech Health Minister: lockdown measures won't be eased after March 21

According to Jan Blatný, restrictions limiting freedom of movement and other measures will not be significantly relaxed until April 5 at the earliest.

ČTK

Written by ČTK
Published on 13.03.2021 09:40 (updated on 14.03.2021)

Health Minister Jan Blatný does not expect any significant relaxation of the current anti-epidemic restrictions in the Czech Republic after March 21, he told journalists on Friday.

However, the measure limiting people's movement to their municipality for recreational purposes may be widened to within their residential district, Blatný said. This would allow people to freely travel within their district.

"I do not think that any considerable relaxation, in the sense of opening anything, would happen after March 21," Blatný said.

After consultations with experts, he wants to propose a broader perimeter for leisure activities.

Blatný said he cannot imagine anything more for now, because while the situation in hospitals and within the population has been slightly improving, it is still not the change that would allow for a marked relaxation of other measures.

Strict measures including a ban on travelling outside one's district of residence, except for travel to work and for medical appointments, have been valid in the Czech Republic since March 1.

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Respirators or other high-quality masks are currently mandatory in public areas such as in public transport, workplaces, and outside within in built-up parts of municipalities.

When these measures were first introduced, officials discussed them being valid for three weeks, which would have brought them to March 21.

Recently, Blatný and PM Andrej Babiš mentioned they could be eased after Easter (April 5) at the earliest.

Blatný wants to table a relaxation plan at a government meeting next week, and the Health Ministry's epidemiological group has already discussed it. During the weekend, he plans to discuss it with experts, the chief public health officer, and political representatives.