Tighter anti-COVID measures will take effect in the Czech Republic from Wednesday, October 14

In his weekly Facebook address, Czech PM Babiš announced that new measures will go into effect next week

ČTK

Written by ČTK
Published on 11.10.2020 17:07 (updated on 11.10.2020)

Prague, Oct 11 (CTK) -- Stricter measures against the spread of the coronavirus will take effect in the Czech Republic as of Wednesday, October 14, Prime Minister Andrej Babiš said in his regular Sunday Facebook address.

According to the PM, the government is set to decide on exactly what those new restrictions will entail at a Monday meeting.

Babiš said the proposed restrictions will be discussed at the Monday meeting of the National Security Council and with the opposition parties and representatives of employers and trade unions.

"We want to find a balance between the protection of ill and older people and the economy," the PM said.

Babiš said the spring halting of the economy cost the state 200 billion crowns. "We cannot afford such measures anymore." he added.

The PM once again asked citizens to respect the introduced measures and to stick together as they did during the first wave of COVID-19 in the spring. He said he believes the rising epidemic numbers will slow down in a few weeks.

Deputy PMs Karel Havlíček and Alena Schillerová said earlier on Sunday that the tighter restrictions should not include the closing of shops, restaurants and other services, unlike in the spring. They said social contacts should be further limited.

"We want to deal with the main problem ... that some people don't respect the regulations and keep downplaying it," Babiš said. He noted that people kept gathering near bars in town centers after the mandated 20:00 closing time.

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During his video address, the PM held up a series of photos of after-hours revelers in Prague and Brno failing to respect social distancing restrictions.

Czech ministers discussed the planned restrictions throughout the weekend, conferring with epidemiologists and politicians at the EU level.

Havlíček said the government is preparing compensation measures for sectors hit hardest by the planned restrictions.

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One billion crowns should be earmarked for operators of coach transport, half a billion for entrepreneurs in sport and 0.75 billion crowns for entrepreneurs in culture, he said, adding that restaurants, trade fairs, cinemas, and swimming pools would not be forgotten either.

With more than 8,000 COVID-19 cases confirmed in the country on Friday, officials have still has not ruled out a national lockdown.