Shops to open on Christmas morning – regardless of state of emergency or COVID restrictions

The Minister of Trade confirmed shops will open on Christmas Eve, as Blatný urges people to shop only when necessary

Tom Lane

Written by Tom Lane
Published on 17.12.2020 10:04 (updated on 17.12.2020)

Shops will be allowed to open on Christmas Eve morning, the Minister of Trade has confirmed.

The government is seeking an extension to the state of emergency in the Czech Republic, which would usually mean shops closing on public holidays.

The current state of emergency expires on Dec. 23, but according to Novinky, shops will be allowed to open on Dec. 24 even if this is extended.

Minister of Industry and Trade Karel Havlíček said:

"I confirm that it will be open on the morning of Dec. 24, there will be a clear resolution that will say that,"

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Meanwhile, the Health Ministry has confirmed that the implementation of new anti-coronavirus measures announced earlier this week will not limit people’s ability to shop, with all shops remaining open.

ČTK reports that an article in Lidovky.cz claimed people could buy only essentials as of Friday when the Czech Republic moves from the third to the fourth, stricter COVID risk level of the PES epidemic system.

But Health Ministry tweeted on Tuesday that they would not be putting restrictions on what people can buy.

Health Minister Jan Blatný confirmed that people can shop anywhere but said they should only do so if necessary.

Speaking to reporters yesterday he said:

"It is desirable and it is necessary for us to limit our movement not only at night, but also during the day," 

Under the original rules for the fourth tier, only food stores, drugstores, and other shops with essential goods are recommended to remain open.

PM Andrej Babiš announced after the government meeting last week that shops and services would not close, even within the fourth tier of the system being implemented.

Under government regulations, all shops must follow strict sanitary rules such as having at least 15 square meters per customer. They can also remain open on Sundays.