Lockdown rules still apply despite the sunshine, say Czech officials

As spring weather brings out crowds, law enforcement are bringing out warnings at food stands and parks in the center of Prague.

Raymond Johnston

Written by Raymond Johnston Published on 31.03.2021 15:21 (updated on 01.04.2021) Reading time: 2 minutes

Despite the spring weather and record temperatures, people should still follow the valid pandemic rules that require social distancing and face coverings. Police in Prague have been carrying out checks in parks, and plan more for today, but so far have been issuing warnings to people instead of fines.

Prague police spokeswoman Eva Kropáčová said that police dealt with a series of incidents in Prague on Tuesday afternoon and evening. Some 1,600 checks were carried out in downtown Prague, and further checks will be run today, she added. On Tuesday, the police resolved the incidents with a reprimand, but some incidents involving food stands were passed on to the relevant administrative bodies, Kropáčová said.

It is understandable that people spend more time outdoors amid nice weather, but it is necessary to keep all measures, including to have one's nose and mouth covered and the ban on drinking alcohol in public, the spokeswoman stressed.

The situation has also caught the attention of Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Alena Schillerová. She reminded people that the measures to curb the spread of Covid-19 are still necessary, and the government is not going to change them by Easter.

Schillerová was reacting to photos on social media showing large crowds gathered in Prague’s parks and green areas. She added that she does not know if the photos are authentic as she was not in any parks, but she does not want to underestimate the situation.

She recommends that people keep two meters distance from each other, wear respirators or nano masks, and avoid places with high concentrations of people.

People in Riegrovy sady in Prague 2 on March 31, 2021 (Photo: Raymond Johnston)
People in Riegrovy sady in Prague 2 on March 31, 2021 (Photo: Raymond Johnston)

Prague has already been addressing the situation of large gatherings along the waterfront, which has been drawing large crowds even before the improvement in the weather. An anti-Covid team began patrolling Náplavka on March 13 to assist police in enforcing the lockdown rules.

The city also came up with a list of lesser-used parks and nature that should have lower concentrations of people. The project is called Safely Around Prague.

Tough restrictions limiting the movement of people came into effect across the Czech Republic on March 1. People are supposed to stay home except for necessary trips, but there is an exception that allows going out for exercise and going to parks or green areas within the district where the person lives.

A medical mask or respirator is also required in urban areas. Joggers and cyclists do not need a mask if they will be in an area where two meters of distance between people is guaranteed.

Restaurants and other eateries are also allowed to offer window service for pickup, but people are not supposed to congregate in front of the window. There is also a ban on consuming alcohol in public spaces as well socializing with people outside of your household.

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