Masks will be mandatory in all indoor premises of buildings in CZ from Thursday

The Ministry of Health is reacting to the worsening epidemic situation and will introduce, with some exceptions, the mandatory wearing of masks in all indoor premises of buildings outside the home and in the common areas of schools effective from Thursday, 10 September.  Furthermore, the nationwide obligation to wear protective equipment in means of public transport remains in effect. Masks are not only a basic preventive measure in connection with COVID-19 but also with the forthcoming season of respiratory diseases.

“Due to the worsening epidemic situation, I convened an urgent meeting of the Smart Quarantine Central Steering Team this morning. We agreed with experts that starting from tomorrow, we will introduce the obligation to wear masks in all the indoor premises of buildings across the Czech Republic. Masks are a basic preventive and non-economic measure that is very effective. I also call on all citizens to be maximally responsible and to observe the basic hygienic rules. Remember the HMD rule. Hands, masks, distancing. It is the least we can do, and yet it is so important. Each of us can contribute to coping with this epidemic with their responsible behaviour,” said Minister for Health Adam Vojtěch.

Masks will be mandatory everywhere starting from tomorrow, except for the home or place of accommodation (e.g. hotel room). In the case of schools, educational facilities and university buildings, the obligation applies only to the common areas of these buildings (e.g. corridors and restrooms). An exception from the obligation applies, for example, to children under two years of age, children and teachers in preschools, hospitalised patients, persons during the performance of copyrighted works, news presenters, athletes during training or competitions, fiancees during wedding ceremonies, and others. All the exceptions are listed in the extraordinary measure and in the text of the press release below.

“Masks significantly reduce the risk of spreading the infection. They are a simple but maximally effective barrier that prevents the spread of droplets through the air to other people, primarily while speaking, coughing or sneezing. Given the high daily increments in new cases, we have opted to introduce masks in the indoor premises of buildings where people are in a closed space, distancing is often not maintained and the infection can spread more easily. We expect the number of new cases to keep growing. Therefore, at today’s meeting all the experts agreed that a swift reaction is in order and masks will be introduced starting tomorrow. I would also like to ask all of our citizens to be responsible and observe the rules of hygiene. And if you feel the symptoms of respiratory disease, stay at home and contact your physician via telephone,” added Jarmila Rážová, Chief Hygienist of the Czech Republic.

The obligation to wear a mask DOES NOT APPLY to:

a) children under two years of age;
b) children and teaching staff at preschools and children and parents caring for them in children’s groups,
c) persons in educational institutions providing one-year courses in foreign languages with daily teaching with education in a classroom;
d) boarding school houses and children’s homes, as far as concerns employees or accommodated children, pupils or
e) educational facilities for the performance of institutional education or protective education and schools established as a part of them and centres of educational care when providing services in the form of boarding;
f) schools established by the Ministry of Justice;
g) pupils, students and teaching staff at schools established under Section 16(9) of the Schools Act,
h) employees and children at facilities for children requiring immediate assistance,
i) persons with intellectual disorders, disorders on the autistic spectrum and cognitive disorders or severe alterations of their mental state, whose mental capacity or current mental state does not allow them to observe this prohibition,
j) patients, if they are hospitalized in inpatient healthcare facilities and if it is necessary for the provision of healthcare services,
k) healthcare workers for the necessary period of time, if required for the provision of healthcare services;
l) social service users in social service buildings, such as weekly care centres, homes for persons with a medical handicap, homes for senior citizens and homes with a special regime, and in facilities providing facilitating social services in residential form;
m) other cases worthy of consideration that are stipulated by a healthcare or social service provider or attending doctor for movement and staying in healthcare facilities and social service facilities;
n) employees and persons in a similar position, including officials, for the period when they perform work in one place, if they work at a distance of at least 2 meters from other persons,
o) persons driving public transit vehicles if they are not in direct contact with passengers during their transportation,
p) judges, lay assessors, public prosecutors, accused persons and their defense attorneys, parties to civil, administrative and constitutional court proceedings and their representatives, witnesses, experts, interpreters and other persons for which a court thus decides, in the place and at the time of the court proceedings;
q) persons performing copyrighted works (e.g. theatre, dance or musical performances), lecturers and persons participating in the creation and production of audiovisual works or programs,
r) hosts, reporters and other persons appearing on radio, television and other programs;
s) persons performing work classified by a decision of the competent public health protection authority in category three or four due to the risk factor affecting working conditions of heat stress, and also persons performing work which has not yet been categorized and for which it can be anticipated that, after categorization has been performed, they will be classified in category three or four due to the presence of a risk factor affecting working conditions of heat stress;
t) customers of hospitality service outlets at the time of consumption of food and meals, including drinks;
u) persons travelling on public transport for the necessary period for the consumption of food and meals, including drinks,
v) fiancées in the course of the wedding ceremony and other persons attending the ceremony, and persons declaring that they are entering into registered partnership together and other persons attending this declaration.
w) persons for the essential time needed to take their portrait photograph, or photographs of newlyweds, including a group photograph with household members and other direct relatives;
x) sportsmen or exercising persons during training sessions, exercising, games, competitions, etc.,
y) movement and being in spaces of internal artificial bathing places, such as swimming baths and pools, pools for toddlers and infants and paddling pools, spa and therapeutic pools and saunas.