From Monday, 27 December, people aged 30 and over can be vaccinated with the third dose. The government approves new measures

From Monday, 27 December, people aged over 30 with five months since they completed their vaccination schedule will be eligible for a booster dose. Previously, the booster dose was only allowed after six months. As of 26 December, the existing bans linked to the state of emergency under the extraordinary measures concerning retail and services will cease to apply. A modified version of the extraordinary measure will apply from 29 December to 2 January. Pupils under the age of 18 will now only need one negative PCR test before the start of school ski courses and no further testing will be required. Testing in schools in the first two weeks of January has also been approved. Over the Christmas holidays, opening hours will be reduced until 12:00 noon on Christmas Eve Day, and shops will remain fully closed on 25 December.

“The end of the state of emergency does not mean the end of measures against Covid-19. But we do not want to tell people what they can and cannot do. Coping with the situation is not about bans from the government but about the personal responsibility of each individual. Our priority is to vaccinate and test as much as possible. That is why we are allowing booster doses for other age groups,” said Health Minister Vlastimil Válek.

From Monday, 27 December, people over 30 years of age with 5 months since they completed their vaccination schedule will be eligible for a booster dose. Previously, the booster dose was only allowed after six months. Based on interest in the booster dose during the month of January, we will open this vaccination to additional age groups aged 18 and up.

Following the end of the state of emergency, i.e. from 26 December, there will be several changes under the extraordinary measure for retail and services. The existing prohibitions on the night-time operation of restaurants, bars, discos, etc., the operation of Advent markets and the consumption of alcohol in public, which were linked to the state of emergency, will no longer apply. Restrictions on the right of assembly and restrictions on the election of corporate bodies and meetings of corporate bodies will be abolished.

A modified version of this extraordinary measure will be in force from 29 December to 2 JanuaryIn restaurants, only 4 people will be allowed to sit at a table instead of 6 people, except for those living in the same household. For public or private events with a concentration of people, the limit will now be a maximum of 50 people at the same time in the same place.

A further measure relates to cableways, which will not require the proof of infection-free status according to the established rules (full vaccination / recovery from disease / PCR test where applicable) where the cableway is operated under a public passenger service contract obligation. For school ski courses shorter than 8 days, a PCR test taken no more than 72 hours before the start of the course will be sufficient for pupils under 18 years of age, while for longer courses such pupils will have to be retested after five to seven days of the course – the school will then be able to purchase a bulk ski pass for the tested pupils on the basis of their name list.

A strategy for testing at primary and secondary schools in the first two weeks of January has also been approved. This will take place on Mondays and Thursdays from 3 January to 16 January. Thereafter, every Monday from 17 January. Antigen testing will continue to be used for testing. In view of the new omicron variant, the new PCR verification test for suspected cases will always be combined with a discriminatory test to identify coronavirus variants.

An amendment to the Ministry of Health’s extraordinary measure on discriminatory PCR testing has also been approved, with effect from 26 December. The change means that from this date, it will be mandatory to carry out discriminatory PCR testing on all biological samples positive for coronavirus where the application form indicates that the person has clinical symptoms of Covid-19 disease. “To prevent the uncontrolled spread of the new omicron variant, it will now be mandatory to carry out discriminatory PCR testing on all positive samples where the persons tested have clinical symptoms of the Covid-19 disease,” added Minister Válek.

The Government also decided today to amend the crisis measure for retail and services with effect from 23 December.  Retail sales will be banned on Friday, December 24 from 12 p.m. until midnight and shops will be closed on December 25. The restriction on opening hours will not apply to shops with a sales area of no more than 200 square meters, fuel and lubricant stations, pharmacies, shops in areas of high passenger concentration at airports, railway stations and bus stations, and shops in healthcare facilities.