Government approves an MoH extraordinary measure easing the wearing of masks at school and rules for staging events

At today’s session, the government approved an extraordinary measure of the Ministry of Health, which unifies the rules for OTN, eases the wearing of masks at schools and work, increases the number of people allowed at public and private events and changes the date for the second dose of the Moderna vaccine, effective from 8 June. From 1 July, testing at work and at schools will be cancelled and the rules for travel within the EU will be relaxed.

As of 8 June, the Ministry of Health is unifying the rules for OTN [translator’s note: acronym for “vaccination, test, disease”]. The same conditions will apply at all locations where vaccination, testing or confirmation of recovery from the disease are required for access. These includes a PCR test no more than 7 days old, an antigen test no more than 72 hours old, proof of vaccination no earlier than 22 days from the application of the first dose, confirmation of recovery from the disease for up to 180 days, taking of a preventive antigen test at the point of access to the premises or a document of testing at work or at school (confirmation from the employer or school, or an affidavit). “We have unified the rules so that the same conditions for access apply everywhere, and additionally so that adults can use tests from their employment and children tests from school, as well as the option of testing on the spot. Hence, attending events and services will be available and safe for everybody,” explained Minister of Health Adam Vojtěch.

Based on the extraordinary measure concerning protection of the airways, the obligation to wear a face mask will no longer apply to children who have not yet commenced school attendance. In the City of Prague and the Ústí nad Labem, South Moravian, Plzeň, Central Bohemia, Pardubice, Hradec Králové, Olomouc, Moravian-Silesian, Karlovy Vary and Vysočina regions, the obligation to wear masks at schools will also be eased, for pupils and students while seated at their desk, and for teachers during lessons. These are regions where the seven-day incidence is lower than 25 cases per 100,000 inhabitants. The obligation to wear a mask at work while no persons other than colleagues are present also applies in the same regions.

Furthermore, an exception is permitted for pupils, students and teachers during examinations at school, provided they maintain a distance of 2 meters. Henceforth, it is possible not to wear protection of the airways for practical reasons throughout the premises of swimming areas, pools, saunas, wellness centers and salt caves.

Today, the government also approved the conditions for children’s summer camps and hobby, pedagogic, recreational or educational events. The number of people indoors and outdoors is governed by the same rules as other mass events. If the event is attended by more than 10 persons, one of the OTN conditions must be met. If the event lasts continuously for more than one day, the participant demonstrates the fulfilment of OTN on the first day of the event and then at an interval of every 7 days.

The extraordinary measure concerning retail and services also stipulates the conditions for staging public and private events at which people gather. Henceforth, up to 200 persons can attend events in indoor premises, and 500 persons on outdoor premises, under the condition that these persons are vaccinated, have tested negative or demonstrate proof of recovery from the disease. The documents proving these facts may be obtained online at the portal (referred to as “OTN”). The capacity of seated spectators at cultural performances, sports matches, congresses and education events has also been increased, up to 50% of the total seating capacity, but maximally 1,000 persons indoors and 2,000 outdoors. Alternatively, the capacity may be increased to up to 25% of the seated spectators if the event is held in a large hall or stadium.

“Our priority is to maximally simplify the measures in this positive epidemic situation. The 50% capacity will thus be the same for sports, culture and congresses. Likewise, pools, saunas and wellness centers can use half of their capacity,” added Chief Hygienist of the Czech Republic Pavla Svrčinová.

The Ministry also unified the conditions for visiting healthcare facilities and social service facilities, as concerns the proof of vaccination, testing or recovery from disease, with the conditions stipulated in the other extraordinary measures, and has shortened the period before the second dose of Moderna vaccine from between 38 and 42 after the first dose to between 25 and 35 days.

From 21 June, persons from the entire European Union will be allowed to enter the Czech Republic without restrictions, provided they meet the rules for vaccination, testing or recovery from disease. The Czech Republic will also start recognizing vaccination certificates issued by the Republic of Serbia for entry to and stays in the Czech Republic.

Effective from 1 July 2021, all mandatory regular testing at employment, for self-employed persons and at schools will be cancelled.

The government has also approved the protective measure of the Ministry of Health, which stipulates anti-epidemic measures against the influx of the COVID-19 disease from abroad to the Czech Republic. From 1 July, only a certificate of vaccination, testing or recovery from disease will be used during travel on the basis of restoring the freedom of movement of persons within the European Union. Fully vaccinated Czech citizens can expect the easing of rules when travelling to and from EU countries.

The full text of the extraordinary measures is available here.