Video: Prague police bust pandemic speakeasy, underground bar with 35 maskless guests

Police in central Prague uncovered a bar that was in gross violation of the country's anti-COVID-19 measures

Jason Pirodsky

Written by Jason Pirodsky
Published on 15.10.2020 14:23 (updated on 15.10.2020)

Prague police uncovered an underground bar in flagrant violation of the country's anti-COVID-19 measures on Tuesday night, with around 35 guests drinking, dancing, and doing drugs in the late hours of the night.

At any other time, this would be a normal night out in Prague. With skyrocketing COVID-19 numbers reported in the Czech Republic on daily basis, however, it shows brazen disregard for the country's attempt to slow the spread of the virus by both the venue and its guests.

On Tuesday night, Czech measures closing all restaurants, pubs, and bars until November 3 had were just hours from going into force. However, these venues were prohibited from operating after 8 p.m. according to previous measures in effect at the time. 

But police from the 11th General Crime Department of the First Police District in Prague uncovered a (literally) underground venue on Vodičková street in central Prague operating after 8 p.m., with dozens of guests packed into a cellar bar.

Staff had closed and locked the front doors of the venue to forge the illusion of compliance with the Czech anti-COVID-19 measures. Inside, however, things were operating as normal; when a guest wanted to leave, they had to notify staff who would lead them out a back entrance, according to police reports.

But Prague police used the back entrance to enter the bar for themselves, and found about 35 guests in violation of the country's measures.

"Through this back entrance, police got into the restaurant and found out that there were 35 people who are not allowed to be there, drinking alcohol and not following the extraordinary regulations," stated police spokesperson Jan Daněk.

Police imposed on-the-spot fines totaling about 11,000 crowns to 21 guests for violating the country's face mask regulations. Six guests were in possession of drugs, and one was arrested for a drug-related offense.

The venue itself now faces a fine of up to three million crowns. While police did not name the bar in their report, video coverage of the bust from both the street and inside is recognizable to anyone who has been to popular Prague dive u Sudu.

Reporting to the press following the bust, Prague police have stated that officers will monitor compliance with the Czech anti-COVID-19 with greater vigilance going forward, and take more drastic measures for intentional violations including imposing on-the-spot fines.