Anti-Epidemic Measures to be Extended in Schools and Catering Establishments Starting Friday

The Ministry of Health is imposing further anti-epidemic measures in relation to the worsening epidemiological situation in the Czech Republic. The ministry is extending the obligation to wear face masks in schools and restricting opening hours for establishments offering catering services during the night.

The anti-epidemic measures are extremely effective. They could affect the development of the epidemic by as much as fifty percent. A restriction of celebrations, parties and other similar events will help to restrict the spread of infection by a further twenty-five percent. This is why we are appealing to the public to avoid events like this and to companies asking them not to organise them. However, none of the measures will work if we don’t comply with them. We shouldn’t try to think of ways to get around them. Right now, it is our health that is at stake. The virus is a force of nature and you simply cannot plan for it. We don’t have a vaccine at the moment. The only thing we have is our measures and that is why we should all comply with them,” said Health Minister Adam Vojtěch.

Effective from Friday 18 September, the obligation to wear face masks is extended to include all school premises. The obligation applies to stage two of primary schools, secondary schools and universities. An exception to this is given for stage one of primary schools and educational activities for which the wearing of protective equipment is impossible, e.g. physical education, singing and playing wind instruments, etc. “By using face masks, children protect themselves from each other and at the same time protect their immediate family such as their grandmothers and grandfathers when they get back from school. Unless absolutely necessary, we recommend that head teachers do not hold any mass events or trips” said Professor Roman Chlíbek, Head of the Epidemiological Group attached to the Ministry of Health.

From 6.00 p.m. on Friday, it will also not be possible to hold indoor events with standing room only and only that number of people for whom seats are available will be able to enter catering establishments. Effective from midnight on Friday, a ban will come into force on the presence of the general public in establishments offering catering services between the hours of midnight and 6:00 a.m., with the exception of those that do not serve the general public (e.g. staff catering, catering for healthcare services and social service providers, or at penal institutions). The ban does not apply to sale for consumption outside of catering establishments such as fast-food establishments with dispensing windows or take-out foods where the customer does not enter the establishment. “We sometimes hear that COVID will not be stopped by the stroke of midnight. Although that is true, international experienced has confirmed that people are less responsible later into the evening under the influence of alcohol and stop complying with barrier measures,” added Professor Chlíbek.