School supplies and paper may return to Czech government's "essential items" list from next week

Current coronavirus rules have restricted the sale of non-essential items as not to disadvantage smaller shops which are closed.

Tom Lane

Written by Tom Lane
Published on 14.01.2021 11:37 (updated on 14.01.2021)

The government could adjust the list of necessary goods that can be sold in stores next week, Minister of Health Jan Blatný told reporters.

Paper products could be added to the list, for example. At the moment only essential goods can be sold in large stores, such as food and drinks.

But, according to iDnes, Blatný wants to keep the rule that large stores are not allowed to sell goods in which small stores specialize, which are closed due to measures against COVID-19.

From Dec. 27, only products authorized for sale in small shops have been allowed to be sold in supermarkets. People are allowed to buy, for example, food, fuel, drugstore, medicine, feed, or glasses. Blatný said on Wednesday that the cabinet is aware that the list of necessary things is changing, among other things, as the seasons change.

"As part of the revision of the PES, which we are planning next week, this list will also be revised. For example, stationery, for example, will probably be included. It is needed because of the children in schools," he said.

Blatný wants competitive advantages not to arise even after the changes, he added: "It will be for everyone. For example, if we allow stationery in hypermarkets, it must be possible to sell them outside. That justice will be maintained.”

Novinky reports that this could mean that stationery stores may therefore re-open next week.

A number of stores have blocked off shelves featuring items that currently can’t be sold, with others taking them off shelves entirely.

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The Czech Republic is currently at the fifth, highest level of the anti-COVID PES system and despite a slight decline in numbers, Minister of the Interior Jan Hamáček told a press conference Wednesday that he does not expect any changes in the measures yet.

The COVID-19 risk fell from the highest fifth degree to fourth within the PES epidemic system in the Czech Republic Thursday, with the risk score falling to 75 on the 0-100 scale from Wednesday's 81 mainly thanks to the reproduction number's decline to 0.82, the Health Ministry's data show. Since Dec. 30 the risk score has been kept above 76 points, which is counted as being in the fifth degree.